Colorado Springs

Moving To Colorado Springs, Colorado – A Strange Experience

My family moved to Colorado Springs from Northern California in 1998. We came here for many reasons: clean air, minimal pollution, very little traffic, low crime rates, low taxes, and (most importantly), we had family here.

A few weeks in, I noticed that there are some strange quirks about living in Colorado (and Colorado Springs, specifically) that I hadn’t expected. So for anyone interested, here is my list of the funny quirks of “The Springs,” my home sweet home.

Colorado Springs is a major military town.

A flyover by the USAF Thunderbirds. (We can see them from the highway).

We have five (count ’em: 5!) major military installations here: NORAD, Air Force Academy, Ft. Carson, Peterson AFB and Schriever AFB. I’ve heard estimates that military spending accounts for 70-80% of our local economy, and those figures don’t surprise me. Most local shops in town offer “military discounts” for active-duty military, and you’ll frequently see soldiers dressed in combat fatigues when you’re shopping or out for dinner. An enormous percentage of our population is active or retired military. What a lot of people do is work for the Air Force or Army for twenty years and retire to Colorado Springs, working for a private contractor doing the same job as before (Space Systems Engineering, for example) for three times the pay, while drawing military retirement benefits. It’s one of the most lucrative deals I’ve ever heard of.

I like and support our military (my Great Grandfather served in the Army, my Grandpa served in the Air Force and my Uncle served in the Marines), but, alas, I personally haven’t been in the military myself. Which means I’m in the minority, and I’m constantly telling people behind cash registers “No, I don’t have a military I.D.” when they offer me a military discount.

People in Colorado Springs don’t really recycle.

A recycling bin spotted in the wild? Take a picture!

In California, we recycled because it’s required by law. It was just part of our routine—we’d set out our color-coded recycling bins (green/yellow/blue) at the curb next to the garbage can on trash day. So naturally, after moving here, I figured that recycling would be even more important because we were living in the mountains. Boy was I wrong. Instead, I was shocked to see that most people in Colorado Springs don’t recycle anything. A few years ago, I tried to find a place where I could recycle our glass bottles because I felt bad always throwing them in the trash. I started calling around. Only one recycling center told me they could take my glass bottles if I wanted, but I wouldn’t get paid anything, and I would have to drop them off since they wouldn’t pick them up. So if you’re at a BBQ at a friend’s house, don’t bother looking for a recycling bin for your soda or beer can. Just throw it in the trash.

[Update, 2015: As of last year, my local trash service has started offering single-stream recycling, and I signed up as soon as I found out about it. For only $3/month, we now get a blue rolling recycling container that we can put paper, glass, and more in. Finally. What changed that allowed them to offer this? I don’t know, but it sure helps us out. And it only took them a decade and a half to catch up!]

Kids in Colorado Springs play Lacrosse.

What’s this? Catching Butterflies? Guess again! Hockey… on grass… with a ball… sorta.

What on earth is lacrosse? It’s a game of supposedly American Indian origin, where high school kids run around on grass fields wearing enormous safety goggles and waving white nets. The first time I drove by a high school and saw a lacrosse game, I thought the girls soccer team was running around catching butterflies. It took me a while to figure out what was going on. What a strange sport—I had never heard of this before moving to Colorado. In the reverse, nobody here has ever heard of Water Polo, which is a huge sport where I grew up. How funny.

People here don’t swim much, but if they do, it’s at an indoor pool.

A stock photo clearly taken in a state that isn’t Colorado.

There are about 5 city pools in our entire population of half a million people. I know several “natives” of Colorado Springs who have never even been to a  beach. For the most part, people in Colorado Springs don’t have pool memberships, and there are very few pools in town, aside from indoor pools at gyms like the YMCA.

Colorado Springs is the Land of Fire & Ice

Yep: we get both hail and forest fires in our town… in the same month!

Just about everywhere you live, you’ll find some sort of natural disaster that hits your area. In Northern California, the big scare, of course, was earthquakes. Here in Colorado Springs, there are two natural disasters we get: unbelievably huge hailstones, and forest fires. I’ve lived through two wildfires (the Waldo Canyon fire, and the Black Forest fire) and nearly 1,000 homes were burned down. You’d think that would cost insurance companies a fortune to replace everything, yet my friend who is an insurance agent told me that his agency pays out FAR more in claims from hail damage each year than they did after the forest fires. (On a side note, he’s been a great agent and helped me with my hail damages car and roof! Give him a call if you need help: Mark Olsen Insurance).

It’s no laughing matter, obviously, but it is interesting to me that Colorado Springs would have two natural disasters that are such polar opposites—we get damage from extreme cold/water and extreme dry/fire. …and the hailstorms are very strange: it will literally be a calm, sunny day, around 80 or 90 degrees, in late July, where you’re sweating in the dry heat, then around 2:00pm, a huge deluge of golfball-sized hail falls out of the sky, smashing windshields, denting cars, ripping leaves and flowers off of trees, and then… 20 minutes later, it’s all gone, and it’s warm again. …but everything is now bent, broken, and smashed. Strange.

Colorado Springers can’t pronounce Spanish words. And they don’t care about it at all.

We live in “Colorado Springs.” That’s easy to pronounce. However, just down the road from us is a city called “Buena Vista,” which would obviously be pronounced “bway-nuh vis-ta.” But you can always spot the natives in Colorado Springs—they say it “bee-yoo-na vista.” Why? …some people say that’s the official name of it. I don’t know that I buy that, but even if I did, that doesn’t excuse the fact that when they say “Florissant” (the tiny town just up the mountain), they’ll call it “fluorescent“. …as in “fluorescent light bulb.” The strangest pronunciation though, is the way that a lot of older folks call “Pueblo” “pee-yeh-blow.”

Cities are bad enough, but people also have trouble with road names. There are many roads in downtown Colorado Springs that give people a lot of trouble, two that seem nearly impossible: “Cache le Poudre” and “Vermijo.” Cache le Poudre is French for “hide the powder,” and has a fascinating back story of French trappers who hid gunpowder in a river bank a long time ago. However, nobody cares about that, or the fact that it should be pronounced like “cawsh-luh-poo-druh” so instead they’ll say “catch-la-pooter.” Some people haven given up entirely and just call it “Cash Street.” Quoi?! I’d hate to hear them pronounce “San Joaquin,” the county where I grew up.

Pikes Peak is really just for tourists.

Ahh… Pikes Peak, the tourist trap for suckers.

Tons of locals haven’t been to the top of Pikes Peak, and they don’t care to. I have been to the top of Pikes Peak exactly twice: once 20 years ago when I was visiting my grandparents, and last year, to take my daughter there on a school field trip. Both times, we took the cog railway to get up there. My wife, who’s lived here for 21 years has never even tried to go to the top, or hike it at all. Oh, and for the record, it’s called “Pikes Peak,” not “Pike’s Peak.” Its official name does not include an apostrophe, at least since 1890. There’s a law somewhere that says mountain’s can’t have “possessive names,” so they just removed the apostrophe.

Bottled items and bags are under pressure.

Careful now, don't squeeze it too hard it or might burst
Careful now, don’t squeeze too hard it or might burst

Because of the high altitude, everything that’s bottled is under pressure. For example, when you opening a can of yogurt, if you don’t point it away from yourself, the lid will “pop” and spit yogurt into your face. I’ve watched this firsthand several times, and it’s funny every time a tourist or newcomer gets an eyeful of yogurt. When you go grocery shopping, it’s funny to see all the potato chip bags just about ready to burst from all the air inside.

Many homes in Colorado Springs don’t have an air conditioner.

A rare find in these parts.

The first week after we moved here, I heard a family telling their friends about how they’d just purchased an “Air Conditioner” for their house. I couldn’t understand what all the excitement was about. …I later found out that in Colorado, having A/C in your home is a luxury, depending on when it was built. Most homes here, unless they were built in the past 10 years or so, don’t have them. Even if they do, you’re lucky if they actually work. Many people will even  not have one installed when getting a new home built.

In California, it was simply a necessity. I remember one summer in the early 1990s in Stockton when our A/C was broken for a few days… let me tell you—spending a week in 110° heat was miserable. Yet, in Colorado Springs, many people will complain of the intolerable heart when our summer days hit 80°. Oh yeah, at least in California, we could go to the pool, but as I said, most people here don’t swim.

People in Colorado Springs are very, very, very nice to strangers.

I remember taking walks to the neighborhood park in my first few months here, and the people I walked past as I crossed the street would look me in the eye, smile and nod, and say “Good morning!” I wondered if these were people I’d met before, because I wasn’t used to being spoken to in this manner by strangers. This politeness can also be a little bit weird sometimes: if you are approaching the front door of any building, whether it’s a store, church or gas station, someone is going to hold the door open for you… sometimes even when you’re twenty or thirty feet away from the door. They’ll just stand there, holding the door open, waiting for you. Polite, but very awkward.

Most people in Colorado Springs are white.

We have very few minority groups. That was a strange shift for me, coming from a city with people from China, Japan, Vietnam, Mexico, India, and more. Out here, most people look like Conan O’ Brien. If you’re from NorCal, you know those little roadside strawberry stands that the Hmongs run? I remember those fondly; but people here have no idea who or “what” a “Hmong” even is.

The elevation is killer. (Literally).

With air this thin, you can see for miles and miles…

We’re a little bit sadistic for some reason, I guess. People here like to chuckle at tourists, especially those from sea level… because they all magically turn into wimps when they’re here. They’ll huff and puff as they try to climb even a tiny set of stairs. They’ll chug bottles and bottles of water and talk about how dehydrated they are or that they’re getting a headache. Then they’ll get really tired and take long naps in the middle of the day. We were like that once, I suppose. But it’s so long I’ve forgotten what it’s like, but I’m reminded of it when I take my visiting friends out to dinner, and they down three glasses of water in a row and ask the server for a refill.

Poor tourists. On top of jet lag, they have to deal with our thin air. Oh yeah, did I mention that our dry air and high elevation means that it’s super easy to get sunburned? Even though we get less sun than some other places, since we’re closer to the sun, your skin will turn red here much faster than it does back home.

When I say the high elevation is killer, I mean it. Sometimes people go hiking in the mountains and get so over-exerted that they have heart attacks. Not because the climb is so hard per se, but because it’s too hard for them since they’re from sea level or have never done a serious hike before. So add this to your to-do list when you get here: 1) drink tons of water, 2) walk up the stairs slowly, 3) wear lots of sunscreen, and 4) don’t climb mountains.

There is no good seafood in Colorado Springs.

You’re gonna have to drive pretty far for something like this.

For the most part, people in the Springs don’t “go out for seafood.” You might order some if the restaurant you go to happens to serve salmon, but that’s about it. Most people I know have never even tried Scallops or Oysters. This really makes me miss being near the coast. If you want seafood, you’ll have to drive somewhere like Denver. But even then, they’re still bringing it in from far, far away.

The coolest cars here are SUVs, not sports cars.

Now this... this is a cool car in Colorado
In Colorado Springs, this is cooler than a Mustang or Corvette.

You will very rarely see a convertible or sportscar. If you do, it’s probably an older man in a classic Corvette. Here, it’s much cooler to own a Porsche Cayenne or Cadillac Escalade than it is to scoot around in a Ferrari or Lotus. Most of of the wealthier people on the north side of town just drive Jeep Cherokees or Honda Pilots. I haven’t figured out why this is, other than the fact that it snows here, so having all-wheel-drive is a must. (You’d think wealthier folks would have both, but many don’t).

There are (nearly) NO bugs here!

Good news—you’ll rarely see these guys.

This is my favorite thing about Colorado Springs, with one exception: our ants are big enough to make you wet your pants with fright when you see them… but other than that, there are also nearly no mosquitoes or cockroaches. All year long, we revel in the fresh, clean, bug-free air. The worst that happens here is we get moths in our garages every fall, and they die by the first freeze of the winter, so you’ll spend weeks sweeping up dead moths, but at least they’re just moths, and… they’re DEAD!

There’s almost no humidity. That’s good and bad.

Colorado is so dry that you can leave a bag of potato chips sitting on the counter wide open for three days and the chips won’t go stale. It’s so dry here that you don’t even need a towel when you shower off. By the time you get out of the shower, you’re almost dry already. That’s the nice part about having such dry air. The part that sucks is that you can get nosebleeds very easily (sometimes, just sneezing is enough to give you a nosebleed). Also, it took my skin at least three years to adjust to it. Up until that point, I went through jars and jars of lotion and Vaseline trying to keep my hands from cracking and bleeding.

Deer are pests in Colorado Springs.

A view from many folks’ backyard window

You can always tell who the tourists are, because they obsess over the deer that walk around in the streets. They’ll literally pull over their cars, roll down the windows, point, and then get out and take pictures. I hate to say it, but… we  laugh at people like that. Locals here will slow down for deer, but that’s to avoid hitting them. Deer are pretty, but they’re annoying as well—they jump over fences, trash your garden and and eat the fruit off your trees. If you’re cruising down the highway and you hit a deer, you’ll probably total your car. I have several friends that have done this. Some people even die from hitting deer.

Every coffee shop in town has a bible study every morning.

bible-studyIf you go to any coffee shop in Colorado Springs before 8:00am, you will see tables with men (and women, but less so) having bible studies. As a Christian myself, I think this is great, but I don’t remember ever seeing this in California. If you spend any length of time at coffee shops on the north side of town, you will hear the conversations peppered with prayer requests, talks about sermons, and people saying “Oh, you go to New Life? I do too!

There are some people who focus on this far too much, I think. Some locals think Colorado Springs has a reputation as being too close-minded or too much of a “religious mecca.” My observation is that this isn’t even close to being true, and those people are listening too much to talk radio or party politics. For example: yes, the north side of Colorado Springs is filled with Christian nonprofits (Compassion International, Focus on the Family, etc), but according to data compiled by the Pikes Peak United Way’s “Quality of Life Indicators Report” in 2013, only 15.2% of people in the Colorado Springs area self-identify as “Evangelical Protestants,” while a whopping 66.7% self-identify as “Not Participating” with any religious affiliation at all. The report even says “Colorado Springs even has a “smaller percentage of its population reporting [a] congregational membership than either the USA or Colorado as a whole. …only Portland, Oregon has a lower participation rate.” In my experience, this data is far closer to accurate than what a few vocal opponents claim.

The drivers here are absolutely horrendous.

Sunny day, almost nothing on the road, and… they’ve completely lost control.

You think California’s drivers are bad? Come out here and you’ll change your mind. For some strange reason, when you’re on an on-ramp trying to merge with traffic on the highway, people will ignore your need to merge and instead speed up, as if to force you off the road. The same thing happens when you try to change lanes. People see your turn signal, and then accelerate it to try to prevent you from getting in front of them. Why? I don’t know. It’s very dangerous, and very strange. Also, each time it snows, you’ll see accidents all over the roads… sometimes even fatal multiple-car pileups, even if there’s only a half inch of snow. It’s as if people completely forget how to drive on snow, every single year.

Are there “Springs” in Colorado Springs? No. Yes. Sorta. Not really.

Colorado Springs's
Behold, the Springs of Colorado Springs in all their glory. No, that’s not a joke.

Are there any “springs” in Colorado Springs? I’ve asked people this question for over 15 years, and the resounding answer from dozens (if not hundreds) of people has been something akin to “Hmmm… I don’t know. I never really thought about it.” I think this is the strangest case of complacency I’ve ever encountered—am I really the only one who thinks it’s weird that nobody except me asks this question?

The good news is, finally, yes, we have indeed found “the Springs” in Colorado Springs! The bad news is, you can’t go there. You can’t see them, swim in them, or drink from them. All that remains of our magnificent Springs is a capped-off plumbing stub with no signage or fanfare in a downtown park where homeless people sleep. Fortunately, as of last year, there’s an effort by a few brilliant people to try to restore the Springs. For information on that, check out “Restore Tahama Springs.” And join me in my bewilderment that nobody seems to care about this bizarre situation and lost piece of history.

Colorado has more microbreweries than any other state.

Can’t decide? Try them all! Then order another round.

Personally, I find this to be awesome. There’s plenty of good beer here. Not just beer made in Colorado and served here, but actually made here. Tiny little shops the size of my own house, or smaller, brew their own beer, and it’s excellent. On the other hand, wine is not nearly as popular, and when people do drink wine, it’s usually from California. There are a few wineries in the state, but I’ve never gone to see them. I’ve heard a rumor that you can see almost all of them in one day because there are so few of them and they’re all extremely small—literally as small as someone’s backyard. Maybe I can confirm this when I take a wine tour someday.

Being local is very important.

One of the more common question when doing business here is “are you local?” Most people want to do business with locals. If you live in Denver and want to do business in Colorado Springs, you’re simply going to have a hard time. Most Colorado Springs businesses resent “big city” Denverites coming down here to sell products and services, almost like they’re just here to take advantage of us. What’s funny is Pueblo is the same way. So we don’t like businesses from Denver here, and Pueblo people don’t like businesses from Colorado Springs coming to their town . We’re kind of like a dysfunctional family of three kids:

  • Denver: the oldest child. She’s bossy, stuck up, and thinks she’s better than her obnoxious younger brothers.
  • Colorado Springs: the poor middle child. He’s certain that his older sister is no better than him even though she’s bigger. And at least he isn’t a baby, like his little brother.
  • Pueblo: the poor baby of family, who tattle-tales on the two older kids and always says “you’re not the boss of me!”

Since I’m in Colorado Springs, I’m biased: I think the middle child has it the roughest.

Colorado Springs is a land of contradictions.

Actually, our city is, and our state is. Colorado Springs is home to Focus on the Family on the north side of town, and several atheist (and arguably anti-Christian) organizations downtown. Statewide, Colorado consistently has a either a conservative congress and a liberal governor, or vise-versa. We rank number one in the nation both for churches per capita, and bars per capita. Half the people here are pantheistic, earth-worshiping, pot-smoking greenies who protest fracking, and and the other half are old, white real estate developers and gun-rights activists. In our city, we have a huge presence of Christian nonprofit organizations, and we were (until recently) the capital for Crystal Methamphetamine and suicides. Colorado has some of the nation’s strongest firearms liberties, and we’re also home to the only Buddhist college in the nation. What did Lincoln say? “A house divided is… Colorado”?

Colorado Springs has a cemetery of tech companies.

Believe it or not, back in the ’90s, the largest assembly plant for Apple Computers in America was just south of Colorado Springs, in a little suburb called Fountain. The building that used to house their operations is now the El Paso County Administrative Center. There was a HUGE tech boom here in the early 2000s, but just a few years later, the entire industry died and there are still silicon-chip manufacturing plant “corpses” all over town. The only real tech companies that still exist are defense contractors like Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Honeywell, etc.

Taking some data from the 2013 “Quality of Life” report I mentioned earlier in this post, here’s a sad quote that sums it up: “Since 2000, we [Colorado Springs] have lost 18,800 information technology and manufacturing jobs, although the employment in these two industries stabilized during the past two years.” So we’re still hurting from the boom and following bust, but it appears to be slowly getting a little better.

There’s a huge presence of SCUBA divers in Colorado Springs.

Me, doing what I do on weekends… just 2,100 miles away from home.

There are several SCUBA diving shops. Right here, next to Pikes Peak. Nobody thinks this is weird, for some reason, yet the closest open water is over 1,000 miles away. I love this, because it means that I can take my refresher dives at the Underwater Connection two blocks from my house, when it’s 8 degrees outside, and snowing… and hop on a plane and do a two-tank boat dive in the Virgin Islands the very next day when it’s sunny and 90 degrees. But still… you gotta admit, this is really weird.

There’s static electricity everywhere.

Smile, and say “electricity”!

Oftentimes, when walking across a carpeted floor, when you go to turn off a light, the light switch will shock you. The same thing can happen when you go to shake hands with somebody. The only explanation I’ve heard for why this happens is that our air is extremely dry and that somehow causes static buildup. Sometimes, it’s not a big deal and you’ll just get a small zing. But every once in a while, when you’re not expecting it, you’ll flip off the light at night and get a zap so powerful that it hurts your whole arm and makes your funny bone tingle for several minutes. Don’t worry though, you’ll get used to it eventually. Try this sometime: when you’re done grocery shopping, set your grocery sacks down on the floor and walk in to the kitchen and kiss your spouse before touching any door knobs or light switches: you will get a “kiss shock.” This happens to my wife and I ALL the time.

The snow here stays for half a day, then melts.

This will all be gone by lunchtime. Who’s up for a picnic at the park?

We get snow all the time in the winter, but it will melt either the same day or the next day. On Monday, it might be 4 degrees and icy, and on Tuesday it might be 70 degrees with full sun and not a cloud in the sky. I’m not kidding—we do have swings that extreme. What this means is that nobody takes the snow that seriously… no matter how bad it gets, it’s pretty much guaranteed to melt tomorrow. So we all just drive around on melting snow all winter—our cars are always covered in road dirt and black slushy ice that’s half melted. We often forget having a snow scraper in the car too, which becomes a major hassle only once every two months or so.

Constant, never ending road construction and potholes

A minefield… err, actually just a main street in Colorado Springs! This is normal here.

Colorado Springs is the land of eternal construction. I’ve been here 17 years and the main thoroughfares of our city are ALWAYS under construction. Union, Powers, I-25, Academy…. all the main arteries of transportation are constantly being resurfaced, or widened. This wouldn’t be so annoying except for the fact that the city seems to want to do construction on all of them at the same time. I’ve gotten to the point where my route to and from work is a bizarre sort of zig-zag pattern where I dart in and out of residential side streets, all to try to avoid the obnoxious “work zone” speed limits and orange traffic cones. Even though I’m limited to 35 or 40 miles per hour, I can get there faster sometimes.

The entire city shuts down at 10pm, every night.

**crickets** (Okay, so it’s a slight exaggeration, but not much).

This one really, really drives me nuts. Nearly everything in town closes every night at 10:00 except the bars downtown where soldiers with PTSD get into bar brawls, and creepy old men bump and grind on unsuspecting young women. Where does everybody go at 10pm? I have no idea. Home, maybe? Walk around any part of town (except bar alley on Tejon Street) and you’ll hear nothing but crickets. The lights are out. The doors are closed. I’m exaggerating a little, but it’s really quite annoying. Example: my sister flew in from Florida a few months ago. It was a Tuesday night, and just barely 9:20pm. Every place we tried (over 10 different restaurants!) was either closed already, or closing in 10 minutes. I think I ended up pounding my first on the dashboard and cursing in frustration, then dejectedly pulling into the Village Inn parking lot. Yay. Come see how we roll here in Colorado Springs—land of Village Inn. So exciting.


Well, there you have it. That’s my list. Having said all that, Colorado Springs really is a very nice place to live. Every city has its quirks, to be sure. As I mentioned in the beginning, the crime is low, there’s no pollution, and the benefits far outweigh living here compared to Stockton (and many other towns in California). But these particular quirks are so strange to me, and sometimes so annoying that they’re worth mentioning.

Colorado Springs is really a very friendly city, and it’s a great place to raise children (hence, my raising my five kids here). So I generally do recommend that people come here to visit or live, especially if they’re seeking asylum from crime-ridden areas like I was.

What are your thoughts? Are you thinking of moving to Colorado Springs? Are you interested in relocating? Where are you living now? Have you heard anything else funny about Colorado Springs not listed here? Let me know in the comments! (You may note that so far, I’ve gotten lots of comments, and I try to answer every single one of them, so if you do have a question, just ask!)

Note: I’ve gotten so many emails about this post from people asking “which side of town should I move to?” that I talked to a realtor friend of mine to help answer this. She’s an expert on helping people relocate to Colorado Springs from other states (and other countries!) so feel free to visit her website at and contact her. She will be happy to help you find a place to live, and help determine which side of town and which school districts are best for you and your family. She is much, much better at this than I am.

309 replies on “Moving To Colorado Springs, Colorado – A Strange Experience”

While I realize this post is 3 years old, it was so well written and provides some great insight into CS. Thanks for taking the time to do this. I’m a CA resident in Oakland and looking to move to the Springs this autumn. Has anything changed much since you wrote this post?

Hi Sarah! Thanks for commenting! That’s a great question. As far as this list goes; no, nothing has changed. I definitely think the good outweighs the bad though—it’s certainly worth moving here. My family came here from Stockton, so just down the hill from where you’re at.

You might also check out Boulder—it’s much smaller (about 100k) and has a far more inviting atmosphere, but it’s also a much more expensive place to live. If you can afford it, that may be a good option.

Either way, make the move! We will welcome you with open arms. 🙂

Holy crap Stockton is HARDCORE! No joke, it’s hella crime-ridden! Me and some of my friends are moving to Co. Springs next year. I was born in Basin WY, lived in LA CA from 8yrs-30yrs, moved to Austin TX the day before my 30th b-day. I will have been here 7 yrs in March. I recommend Austin, but ready for the next journey. This is really helpful, I think there are only a couple of things am not looking forward to: how dry it is & the religious factor… I don’t mind it so much but I don’t like it being shoved down my throat. I am not a fan of the humidity here though, I hate that my veggies and fruit goes bad after 2-3 days here, makes it harder to eat more healthy. Sooo looking forward to no bugs! I hope you get a chance to respond before my move. I have a friend in Co. Springs already and I asked him about where to live he said north east… but you said it’s really family orientated, I am single with no kids and I do not intend on changing that. I have my own small internet business so work is where ever I feel like being at the time. If north east is really family I am not sure if that would be for me and my lifestyle… Any recommendations on where in CO. Springs?

Hi Brandilyn, thanks for your comment and perspective! I’d recommend looking around the downtown area if you can. If you’re single, you may just want to rent a small home with some roommates. We really don’t have apartments downtown so that’s not an option, but house sharing is pretty common and cost effective. The downtown area is within the zip code 80903, if that helps. 🙂

Thank you so much! I am for sure getting a house not apt. I work from home as I mentioned before and I need the space for my office and photo studio. I have a roommate that is coming with me so that works out well. Again thanks you for your quick response!

I attended Colorado College from 1974-78, which was before the huge influx of Christian organizations, but I notice a lot of the other things you mention as true. It was a much smaller town then too.
I took the inside-Norad tour twice — we were told with a smile that the “Colorado Springs” were the huge springs on which buildings inside Norad are mounted as a further protection from nuclear blast.
I lived in Stockton, also, about ten years recently, and am SO glad to be out of Stockton and in south San Jose. One benefit of Colorado Springs is housing cost — median cost of $218,000, the median cost of housing in San Jose is $796,400.

I was thinking that too!! I was originally from Ca and when he said Stockton —I was like–this dude is lucky to be alive!!

I’m thinking of applying for a job in the springs but one thing i cant stand is hipsters. What is the hipster scene like in the springs I’m just a country boy from the Appalachians, will it be a huge culture shock for me?

Great question! Hipsters? I don’t even know that I can define exactly what a “hipster” is, but I think you’ll fit in pretty well—our joke out here is that it’s almost always acceptable to wear hiking boots in Colorado. 🙂 Does that help?

Well if you don’t know really what a hipster is then that’s a good thing! It really does sound like a great place, thank you for your awesome description of what it’s like to move there! Now have you noticed any kind of difference or influence since they legalized marijuana?

I’m happy to help, Brian! Yes, there has been somewhat of a change due to marijuana, but not due to the recent Amendment 64 which supposedly “legalizes” marijuana for recreational use… but only because of the “medical marijuana” that’s been around for ten years or so. It’s become a huge problem in the state: tons of little tiny MMJ shops have opened up all across town, and they bring with them their clientele which are often unsavory characters who loiter and take up all the parking spaces and things like that. Lots of businesses have been essentially run out of the areas they used to be in because an MMJ shop moved in next door. However, the good news is that while we saw a huge boom in the medical MMJ shops about five years ago, it’s slowly petering out as the demand levels out so lots of them have gone out of business. In addition, most cities (I think ours is about to if they haven’t already) have outlawed the sale of MMJ within city limits.

Thank you very much for all your help and info! You were a huge asset in making my decision thanks a lot. Hopefully I get the job and can enjoy your beautiful city!

Brian, did you end up making the move? If so, how did it turn out? I am debating moving to the springs from Baltimore myself. Would love to hear your thoughts.

Ron, this isn’t a hipster town. They are here, but you have a lot of unique individuals. I’m an east coast guy so my perspective varies from Ron’s, but I did enjoy his perspective and got a few chuckles. If you don’t like hipsters, stay far away from Boulder. The town is full of trust fund wanna be hippies.

I agree with Ron that people are courteous and friendly. But my take on it is they keep a polite distance. I think it’s a midwest thing. It takes a while to decipher theses nuances, but I have detected a cryptic FU in polite conversation. It’s a passive/agressive thing. Something I think Ron experienced while driving where their alter ego emerges.

Lots of homeless and people down on their luck. There is an element that is a sea of sadness.

Politically weird, you’re likely to agree with someone, at least in part. If not they may pass you a joint to make it all good. A pot smoking hippy with dreadlocks is likely to be a libertarian with contempt for government.

The very best part to me is natural beauty and outdoor recreation. People live their whole lives here and have not hiked all of the trails. I can’t imagine a better place to bike and hike. Since the olympic training center is here athletes from all over the world are here and I marvel at what incredible athletes live here. I’ve spent a lot of time in the Appalachians(Va., WV) and I love the mountains. If you place a high value on the outdoors, you’ll love what’s here. The rest of in requires an open mind, patience and time to acclimate.

Take away the last part and it’s a mixed bag. Ron mentioned the town shuts down early. If you’re single this place is a challenge. Good luck.

A lot of things are true…though we do have bugs here. Mosquitoes and there quite a few cheap apartment complexes around town ridden with cockroaches.

Haha! I had not read this blog post yet. I do remember noticing all these things when we moved there. It is interesting to read it now, after having lived in several different states now and the fact that Chris and I have moved back to states we’ve lived in before! There are some things you don’t notice until you move somewhere different. Oddly enough, Scottsdale, AZ was another one of those places where everything would shut down early. I didn’t expect that. AZ also did not care whatsoever about recycling. This appalled me! Normally, living in an apt, we would take our trash to the dumpster and there would be recycling bins (in Fl). Not so in AZ. When we lived in Payson, AZ, I was pretty shocked at how not diverse it was. Because of this, all the high school kids there grow up joking around with the words “gay” and even the “n” word. But, it’s not really something people get outraged about because there are almost no gay people or black people that live there. Coming from much more diverse and politically correct places really made this stick out to me.

Bekah, We live in Payson, AZ currently and are thinking of moving to Colorado Springs. Since you have the unique experience of living in Payson… what are your thoughts. We have two young boys and school is a major reason we are considering a move. But we love the hiking, mountain biking, and wilderness around her. Thoughts?

Hi Sheena! Wow, small world, Payson isn’t a huge place so it’s cool to hear from you! My husband basically grew up in Payson, and we lived there after we got married for a while. We also lived in Denver for a few years too, and I lived in Colorado Springs from ages 14-20. (Ron is my brother) I would say if you enjoy Payson, Colorado Springs is similar in ways. Outdoor lovers totally thrive there, so I think you would love that aspect. Funny enough that is one reason my husband and I did not love it, because we aren’t very into things like hiking and prefer the beach, so we didn’t have as much in common with people there. Because being outdoorsy is so important to Coloradans, it made us feel like the odd man out! But in your case, that sounds like a pro! I think there is a similar charm to Payson, but with a much bigger assortment of things to do and conveniences like every store you can think of, and several shopping malls. Payson definitely has a much smaller town vibe, although Colorado Springs feels like a smaller town than it is. It is a beautiful, and family friendly place! Weather-wise, I think it gets colder for longer in Colorado Springs, and seems to get more snow. We do not have children, so unfortunately I can’t attest to any info on the schools, maybe Ron can answer that part? Best of luck in your decision and let me know if you have any more specific questions! 🙂

I’ve lived in Colorado Springs my whole life and I must say that it’s the worst place ever. Unless you’re an adult with an established career, then moving here would be great for raising a family or something like that. Otherwise I would advise someone to never move here. There isn’t a whole lot of opportunity here and it’s extremely boring at times. But if you like that, I guess it’s a great fit for you!

If you think Colorado Springs is the worst place ever, maybe you should try living in Tampa for a year or two…

I hope everybody, everywhere in Colorado are staying safe, dry and healthy. It is very unfortunate to see what mother nature is possible of doing. I am looking to volunteer my services to help with all the damage. Bless all the flood victims out there.

This was an awesome blog. My husband and I are considering making the move. Interestingly enough, my mom and step-dad moved there the same year you did. They knew nobody but my dad had a job at Focus on the Family, my mom was able to grow her Pampered Chef business big time out there. I was only 18 when they moved from California there and there was no way I was going to make the move then. Now that I am a mom and we have seen how hard it is to really have the things we want for our kids, we are seriously considering making the move. We both just started our own businesses and so we are scared that they won’t do well out there. He started a jumphouse/party rental biz and I, a mobile teeth whitening biz. What would you suggest we look at, think about etc. when deciding whether we should make the move? Our house is currently on the market, and the big driving factor is the homes out there in CS? HELP.. lol

Hi Karamia, thanks for commenting! Come on out here, you’ll like it! It’s an excellent place to raise a family (which is why I’m still here). My first recommendation would be to decide on what side of town you want to live on. There are a few parts of town and they’re all very different, so see if you can learn more about the kind of place you want to live. The north, south, west, and east sides of town are all VERY different from each other and have their own unique culture. Second, if you’re starting a small business, you’ll want to check out joining a BNI Chapter to help your business grow. (I wrote a blog post about that here: ) and I HIGHLY recommend it, especially for someone who’s just moving here and doesn’t know anybody.

Hi Ron, I am considering making a move to CS from new mexico. I would like to know what you mean by all sides of town differ from one another, also how is the mens hair business out there?

Hi Amanda! I mean that the difference between the various parts of town is huge. For example, the Broadmoor area has millionaires and probably billionaires living there, but less than six miles away, the poorest of the poor in Colorado Springs live in dirty apartment complexes where people shoot each other at night and cook up methamphetamines. Not on a huge scale, obviously, but it’s still there. If you live downtown, you’ll see a cool urban lifestyle where people live in lofts and small homes and walk to work, and if you go to the north side, you’ll see a super-rich community of very white people who are mostly retired military who all drive very expensive SUVs and live in large houses in gated communities who don’t want to be disturbed. It’s kind of strange that way. My point is this: find out which side of town you want to live on. 🙂 As far as the men’s hair business, I don’t know that much about it, but I work next door to a hair salon and could put you in touch with the guy that runs it if you’re interested.

Thank you Ron, that helps out a lot! I would have to see wIth my boyfriend about the salon since he is the barber, lol, do you know if they do a lot of mens cuts? That is what he prefers to cut. Thanks again! 🙂

I’m thinking about taking a job offer in the Springs soon but before I make a decision I wanted to know what the single life is like for a mid 20s guy. I’ve read a lot of people saying the single life can be difficult there. I do love the fact that I can go do just about any outdoor activity nearly anytime I want! What’s your take on the dating scene?

Hi there—I don’t think I’ll be much help in that arena… I just celebrated my eighth anniversary with my wife, and I got married when I was twenty so I have no idea about dating. 🙂

In terms of outdoor life, yes—it’s killer. Especially if you like cold weather. I don’t (I’m from California, so I like beaches more than mountains!), so I really don’t go outdoors much, but people I know here go Skiing, Snowboarding, Snowshoeing, Camping, and other things like that. I do ride a bike and run, and the weather in the summertime, and the view are incredible for both of those.

On another note, what kind of career opportunities are you looking for? I can hook you up with a few groups in town that are all about getting young professionals plugged in. Just let me know and I can help point you in the right direction!

Hi Ron! I would actually love to hear about the groups in Colorado Springs that are able to assist young professionals with getting plugged into the community! My husband and I are trying to move to CO Springs as we speak! Applying from jobs from another state, however, has proved daunting. It seems our applications may not be taken seriously or companies may be afraid to offer to someone out of state. Any guidance/help would be appreciated! I’d be happy to go over my credentials with you.

Thanks for the information about Colorado Springs.

Hi Ron! I’m glad I ran into your blog. My husband (also a Ron) and I are planning on relocating our family to the CS or the Manitou Springs area around March. He’s a small town “farm” boy from KS and I was born and raised in San Antonio, TX. We’re kinda like City Mouse Country Mouse, haha. I guess you could call us open minded, non-religious & hippie-ish. So from what I’ve read online, I think we’d like the Manitou Springs area best. (Definitely correct me if I’m wrong!!) But if we can’t find a place to live there, where in CS would you recommend we look? And we’re looking for apartment type dwelling if that makes a difference. Thanks a bunch!

Hi Rebekah! Nice! Welcome to Colorado (hopefully), and say ‘Hi’ to Ron for me!

My wife and I are like that too, only I’m the “city mouse” and she’s the “country mouse.”

I love Manitou Springs—I used to live there before I was married. It’s a very cool, hippie town. It’s small, it’s cozy, and the community is pretty darn tight-knit. They have lots of fun little boutique shops, bars, and restaurants. Plus, while they don’t have a lot of apartments up there, they have cabins and little tiny homes, which are old and “antiquey.” For example, I used to live in a tiny two bedroom cabin right off the main street across from the penny arcades, and it was a 120+ year old tuberculosis rehab cabin. A little creepy, but very cool.

If you ever come out to visit, let me know and I’ll show you around!

Little update: hubby just got a job there so it looks like we’ll be moving pretty soon! This weekend we go apartment hunting. Hopefully we’ll run into you some time. 🙂

Wow some of that stuff is cool like the whole no bugs and no humidity thing. I also like how everyone is nice, I live in Maryland so these things are pretty cool except the whole no beach or seafood in Colorado. I was thinking about going to Colorado for college in some city called Glenwood Springs. Do you know anything about Glenwood?

Hi Niquisha! Unfortunately, I don’t know anything about Glenwood Springs and I’ve never been there. I’ve really only spent my time here in Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs, with occasional trips to Boulder.

I haven’t been to Glenwood Springs myself, but many of my friends have. They have the biggest hot springs around, like a block long, and people go there all year long, even in the winter, because the water is so warm. Anyway, that’s about all I know about it, but they always have a good time,

Would love to move to Colorado! My husband is a grain manager and we live in Iowa. Are there any agriculture type jobs in the Colorado Springs area?

Hi Lori, that’s a good question. There is very little agriculture (if any) here in Colorado Springs. However, further south by Pueblo and out in the far northwest in Grand Junction, there’s a bunch. You might try looking out that way. Good luck!

Lori, don’t know if you’ll see this, but you also should check out Weld County, about an hour north of Denver. I went to college in Greeley. Weld County is one of the largest agricultural counties in the U.S. They grow, among other things, lots of beets to make sugar and I believe Monfort’s is still there.

Awesome blog! I am thinking of relocating there and this had me rolling! Especially the Conan O’Brien part. I wonder in the last couple years has it become more modern or diverse?

Hi David, nope, not much has changed. We’re starting to see some positive signs, I think (things like proposals for creating a downtown baseball stadium and other big projects that will revitalize the city and downtown, more specifically) but things are pretty much the same.

Hi. I was looking into moving there because we moved from Lodi, CA (being from Stockton, you would know) but I hate the humidity in FL and the small mindedness. My husband does not want to go back to CA, so we agreed on CS. Due to health reasons I need dry air. But after reading some of the things you wrote, I’m not so sure now. That is why I like CA: it’s so… I guess diverse is good word for it. I love older Western type towns like up in NorCal. I love mountains more than beaches. I thought that’s what CO would be like. But I’m not sure. Everything closes at 9, no matter what time of year? Do you have Walmart that maybe be open 24/7? What if you need something? We have a 14 year old girl. I read a comment by one person that high school kids joke about being gay or the N word. That bothers me. Just because there are no black people or very few doesn’t make it right. Everyone should have same respect no matter where you are. I don’t want my daughter growing up to be what sounds like could be a bigot. Any help to make me feel better would be appreciated. Also my husband is a diesel mechanic for a large Waste company. So I’m glad they finally do recycle. I feel guilty putting it in landfills.
Thank you.

I am headed that way in less than a month and with Albuquerque housing being SO pricey, I decided a little further up in Colorado Springs might work better for me. Plus, Forbes voted Colorado as 3rd best state to live and work in. I have been unemployed for months now in SC, so jobs are my number one priority, but I was also hoping to escape some of the rampant, overbearing conservative Christian atmosphere I have had to deal with for years…your blog kinda makes me nervous about that..? I am no atheist, but I would prefer a more liberal atmosphere. Maybe I should look higher up in Colorado?

Hi Constantine, I’m not sure exactly what you mean by living in a rampant, overbearing culture, but Colorado is awesome. Like I say in my post, we have some weird quirks, but I really like it here. It’s not restrictive at all. I’m a very conservative guy, but I like living in a town that’s got a nice culture and is pretty open and hip, and that’s what we’ve got here. Come check us out! Just don’t let your yogurt spit in your face when you open it at altitude! 🙂

I am in SC (Clemson) & thinking of moving to CO Springs. Did you move? How do you like it?

Bethany, haha, I lived in Salem, just 20 minutes from Clemson. No, I wanted desperately to move outside Denver instead of Colorado Springs but I couldn’t find a place to rent under $700/month and I was afraid I would run out of money before I found a job. I moved to the beach in NC instead. For a while, anyway, I wanted to enjoy the ocean before getting landlocked. I will still move in a few years, maybe by then I will have the cash to do it without fear of becoming homeless. It’s beautiful there and the cold doesn’t bother me (haha….can’t say that without wanting to sing it). But if you have someone to split rent with, I say you should GO FOR IT! Plenty of military men out there.

HI Laurie, I’m actually exaggerating when I say everything closes at 9:00. What I mean by that is that the places I like to go to (restaurants, etc) often close relatively early, say, nine or ten o’clock at night on weeknights. We have tons of grocery stores that are 24/7. I’ve been to towns that *literally* shut down at 9:00 before (a tiny town called Bowie, Texas is one—even the Wal-Mart was closed at night!). So my comments are really to just share my frustration that most of the nightlife in Colorado Springs revolves around singles hanging out at bars on Tejon Street where they get into bar brawls. I’m not into that at all. As a married guy with five kids, I’d be more interested in, say, going to a concert and then a restaurant afterwards. However, that’s very difficult to do since we have few concerts and the restaurants (again, except for bars) generally close earlier than I’d like.

To answer your other questions, I have never seen racism here like you might have heard about—it’s a very fair place to live. People are very nice and generally extremely respectful. My observation is just that there happen to be few minorities here: not that people don’t like them. …because we certainly do.

If you’re from Lodi, I think you’ll like it here. As you mentioned, we practically used to be neighbors years ago (since I lived just down the road in Stockton). I think your experience will be quite similar to mine. I still hate the cold weather, and I don’t like that almost all the trees here are pine trees (i.e. you will NEVER see a palm tree), but it’s a nice place. Come check it out!

Thanks for the answers. I’m glad to hear it. And how cold are we talking? A friend I grew up with as kids said its not that cold. And the snow melts most if the time it comes down. I was not born in CA like you. My daughter was, but I was born in Chicago and raised most of my youth in North Wisconsin. And it gets extremely cold there. I never want to go back to that nor do I like to drive in a lot of snow. A few inches here and there I can handle. Or I’d move to Denver, LOL.

And as for the closing of the town that’s exactly how I grew up in Wisconsion. Same thing. Only we didn’t have Walmarts or 24-hour stores LOL. Yes I’m dating myself. I can handle the small local type places closing early but if I need something last minute or have a sick child its nice to have 24 hour places.

When you get to be my age (47) maybe you wont care if they’re open either. I’m usually in bed by 9pm anyway. So I am coming for a visit in March with my husband and daughter. I hope it’s somewhat warm by then cause my husband has become the biggest wimp since moving to Florida. I love 45-50 degrees. Him, not so much. He’s cold at 70. So he won’t move back to CA (my first choice) so I need him to love the Springs.

Thanks for your info, it’s fun to read.


It doest get very cold. I’m a wimp about the weather too, and anytime it gets below 70 degrees or so, I get all sad inside. 🙂 People who move here from places like Illinois and Minnesota often can’t believe how quickly the snow disappears. We’ll get three inches and it all melts two days later. I’ve gotta admit: if I have to live in a place that snows, that’s not a bad way to go.

I was born in Chicago and raised in Northern Wi so I am very familiar with temps below zero. Doesn’t mean I ever want to see it anymore, hahah. I can handle mild temps and snow melting fast. I have to admit I haven’t driven in it in a long time. We used to take the back roads from Lodi up to Tahoe with my kids. But I didn’t drive much, my husband did. And it was pretty scary driving in the mountains with ice and snow.

I will be moving to Colorado Springs soon and was looking into where are the better areas to live? I’ve heard many different things and was wondering what our thoughts were?

Nice areas within Colorado Springs, you mean? I’m a die-hard westside kind of guy. I figure if you’re going to live near a mountain, you may as well live near the mountains—and that’s the westside. Areas like Rockrimmon, Manitou, Old Colorado City… all good.

I enjoyed reading your post. My son and his wife (yes, the are military) will be stationed in CO Springs in March 2013 and my husband I plan to visit. We will be retiring in 3 years and CO Springs is on our list of places to possibly retire (we now live in California). We enjoy a very active lifestyle, especially cycling. Will we be able to enjoy the same in CO Springs?

Dee, if you like cycling, you are going to LOVE Colroado Springs. We have cyclists everywhere… the scenery is incredibly beautiful, and there are tons of bike trails. Have you looked around much in terms of a neighborhood or homes in this area? P.S. You’ve gotta check out Garden of the Gods. Some of the most beautiful cycling terrain on earth, IMHO.

Thanks for the info. I did speak to a realtor who was very helpful and have been looking on line for fun just to see what’s out there. We won’t be retiring for a few more years so we won’t be moving until then. We’re looking forward to a visit this spring.

Hi Ron, my family is moving to the Springs next February. We are looking for a safe neighborhood with open minded people and families where our son (11) can easily find friends. He will probably go to a school in District 20 or 11. We were told about Rockrimmon as a nice place to live. Can you / anyone give me some background about Rockrimmon or give me some other ideas? Thanks!

My family is moving from Germany to the Springs next February. Which neighborhood do you recommend to us? We are looking for a safe, open-minded, diverse community. Our son (11) will probably go to a school either in district 20 or 11. Some friends live in Rockrimmon and have recommended it to us. How is is there? Thanks!

Hi there, Rockrimmon is definitely a nice place to live. I lived there years ago when I was single, and then again right after my wife and I were married. It was very peaceful and quiet, the crime is extremely low and it’s a very friendly area. I believe most parts of Rockrimmon are D20, but I’m not sure (my kids are too young for me to pay much attention to that currently). It highly depends on your budget though… if you move west a bit further, it gets even prettier right up next to the mountains, but it gets more expensive as well.

Thanks, Ron, it is helpful. Yes, we are outdoor oriented. Rockrimmon sounds like a good place for us. I love your blog and the positive atmosphere you spread. Thanks!

I can’t tell if this is the same question posted earlier (which I just answered), but yes, Rockrimmon is AWESOME. I love it. It’s beautiful, it’s a nice community with cool little shops and nice people, and it’s a really peaceful part of town. It’s also next to some really beautiful trails for biking, running and walking. Are you much for outdoor activities?

Hey Ron, thanks for the info. I’ve been considering moving out there for probably 4 years. I currently live in Des Moines, IA and I’ve always been enchanted by the mountains. Colorado Springs seems to make the most sense for similar cost of living, good place to raise a family, and I’m an officer in the army national guard so contracting work might be an option. Do you know the main defense contractors in the area? Any other good lines of work for veteran/military experience?


Hi Jason, yep! There are TONS of defense contractors here. Colorado Springs is a mecca for retired military. We have Boeing, Lockheed Martin, US Falcon, ITT/Exelis, Honeywell, L-3, Raytheon, Northrup Grumann, and many more. Let me now if you’re really interested and I can probably hook you up with some friends of mine who are in the industry and could give you a better idea of the market.

Thanks for the quick answer! Yes I’m definitely considering it as one of my next moves. I’d be curious to hear what your friends have to say.

Ron – I came across this blog while search for ideas on how to move to Colorado Springs and whether or not it is a good idea. My husband is wanting to go back to school and is interested in psychology. I was searching for schools and came across University of Colorado-Colorado Springs. We have always loved Colorado and think it might be a good time for a “big” change. I do have a question for you since this is a big decision and we have no family there. What is the employment environment there? We would both need to find new jobs as I work for a small non profit in Omaha NE and he is currently a machinist. Are there good jobs in Colorado Springs besides military? And what is the night life like. We love good restaurants and nights out. Not bars. Thanks!!!

Hi Kristi, it’s too early to tell from Black Forest, honestly. My uncle, who is a home builder ( has worked hard over the past year (with many other builders) to contribute to the rebuilding efforts from the Waldo Canyon fire, and that’s going VERY well. It’s almost 2/3 completed so far. The Black Forest efforts… remain to be seen. The problem is that a lot of the trees are gone, so some people don’t want to rebuild because they used to live on land that looked like a forest but now looks like a meadow without trees. We’ll have to see. But lots of other parts of the area are doing quite well. C’mon out and see!

Hi Ron. I’m glad I stumbled across your blog. Thanks for taking the time to write such detail. My husband and I have been looking for a place to call home since we both got out of the military. My husband retired after 27 years and I got out after 10 to raise our daughter who is now 5. We are currently in Oklahoma and haven’t really found our “place”! I have been searching for that little town that we can call home…..( other than no beach 🙁 ) Colorado Springs sounds like a great place to come back alive and raise a five year old. With our military background how hard would it be for us to find jobs? Do you think it would be easier to move then job search….I’m all for the plunge! What would be a good area to look for our daughter to find friends her age and and for mom and dad to get jobs?? Any ideas?? 🙂 🙂 Thanks again! Looking forward to getting yogurt all over the place!

Thank you for all of the info! I’m planning to move from Orange County, CA this upcoming summer to Colorado Springs. I’ve lived in CA in the same city my whole life, so this is a completely new experience for me. I enjoyed reading your blog post and found it helpful. Thanks again!

Hi Michelle, nice to meet you! My wife spent some time at UCCS and I’m thinking of going there myself, actually. 🙂 The job market here is highly dependent on the industry you’re in. We have TONS of Nonprofits here, so if you’re into that, I’m sure we have something for you. If you’d like to look for jobs in the Nonprofit sector, check out my friends at The Center for Nonprofit Excellence here: They have a bunch of job listings you can look into.

As far as machinery, I know a few people who work at Springs Fabrication: and I think they’re expanding and hiring. I’m not sure about Psychology though. …if your husband is interested in going to school for a long time, he could become a clinical Psychologist and work for either a Nonprofit that offers counseling, or a healthcare organization because we have lots of those, like AspenPointe (, and Cedar Springs (

Our night life is actually ok… I just get really bored with it after a while. If you’re from a small town, you’ll probably love it. However, I grew up in California and for me, exciting nightlife means L.A. or San Francisco, so this town seems frustratingly boring and small sometimes.

If you really want to learn ALL about Colorado Springs and the job market here, you can download the 2013 Quality of Life Indicators report that the Pikes Peak United Way helped put together, here: I read it every year. Warning—it’s a huge file (20 meg PDF).

Good luck!

Hi Joanna! Two things: 1) thanks for commenting, and 2) thanks to both you and your husband for serving! I have a friend or two who came here from Oklahoma who I could put you in touch with for more info on what the adjustment was like, but I think you’d like it here. We have lots of great opportunities for retired military. What’s your military background, specifically? Do you think you or your husband could work for a defense contracting firm? Because we have dozens of them here. I know lots of people who work in Space Systems Engineering, Satellite Systems and Missile Defense.

In terms of kid friendliness, Colorado Springs in general is a very family-friendly town. There are some places I’d shy away from just in terms of safety (i.e. where my wife and I first lived when we got married—lots of crime near Fountain Blvd & Murray Ave.) My favorite sides of town are the Rockrimmon area, as well as Mountain Shadows, and Manitou Springs, which is just West of town.

I don’t know whether you’d want to job search or move here first: it’s up to you and your comfort level. My Dad moved here with all his kids years ago with no job and found one pretty quickly. It wasn’t his ideal job, but it paid the bills.

If you’re interested in looking for a home, I know several Realtors I can hook you up with if you’re interested. Just let me know. 🙂

Hi Noel… that’s an interesting question. I’m not sure sure which statistics you’re referring to, but I’ve thoroughly researched our crime statistics and it all depends on what you’re comparing it to, but just saying “there is a lot of crime” isn’t quite accurate.

Yes, we do have crime here, but let’s take five cities of comparable size and compare them: Sacramento, CA, Kansas City, MO, Miami, Fl, Oakland, CA, and Honolulu, HI. (See a chart here: Here are all five of them compared with Colorado Springs, broken down by type of crime:

Miami vs. Colorado Springs
Oakland vs. Colorado Springs:
Honolulu vs. Colorado Springs:
Kansas City vs. Colorado Springs:
Sacramento vs. Colorado Springs:

Colorado Springs has relatively very low crime, generally speaking, especially when compared with other cities of the same size (which is just under half a million people). There are some anomalies, but for it’s size, Colorado Springs is quite a safe place to live.

Noel, there’s been a lot of talk about this recently and I’ve heard only one conclusion that seems to find consensus: Colorado Springers are really, really good about reporting sexual assaults. So I think the theory goes that it’s not so much that the particular crime is higher necessarily, but that that particular crime is often under-reported in various cities and states, but that our rate of reporting is really high. Not a hard scientific fact, but I’ve seen enough reports about it to tell me there’s some merit to it. I’ll keep my ears open for more info though.

This was very fun to read. I’ve lived in Aurora/Denver my entire life and visiting the Springs can be quite interesting compared to other parts of the state. The thing I love the most is just how stunning the mountain views are there. It can certainly take one’s breath away when they see it for the first time in person.

Hey, Ron! Thanks for all your insight/info! It was also nice to read some other posts/questions. So here are a few from me—my best friend and I are seriously (more than likely) thinking of moving to CO early this summer. After looking broadly at some of the metro areas, CS seems to have the best cost of living. However, I’d like to know your insight into neighborhoods and areas surrounding CS. The mountains and their beautiful views are a MUST! I’ve read that even Fountain is flatter and browner than CS and I want to stay away from that, lol. I want mountains, trees, green, views, and snow. I’d also like a “not-so-city” feel, but more of a mountain town feel. I realize small mountain towns are usually quite a bit more expensive, but I’m just curious what’s around. Even going north more, any info you could share would be GREAT! In a dream world, I would live in Estes Park, but my budget won’t quite allow that, haha! Sorry for rambling—thanks for your help!! Happy New Year!

Hi Andrea! Thanks for commenting! Colorado Springs has a great cost of living. Now, as a friend of mine from L.A. likes to say: “a low cost of living just means people don’t want to live there”… which is a half joke, but it’s half true. For example, I just got back from a trip to Boulder (which is my favorite city in Colorado BY FAR) but was very depressed to find out just how expensive it is. It’s OUTRAGEOUSLY expensive. It’s almost as bad as San Francisco. For example, I own a 1,200 square foot tri-level house in Colorado Springs with four bedrooms and two bathrooms and it cost me $160k. In Boulder, you can’t even buy a two-bedroom townhome that’s half that size for DOUBLE the cost. If my math is right, that means the cost of living in Boulder is more than four times higher than it is in Colorado Springs! Even the tiniest, oldest houses on the main strip cost over a million dollars a piece. (Ouch!)

All that to say, the cost of living here is great. This ain’t New York City, and we don’t have people pushing and shoving each other out of the way to move here, but it’s a great place to raise a family and it’s affordable.

I’d agree with your friend that Fountain is flatter than Colorado Springs but it’s definitely not browner… it’s “smaller.” It’s a very, very tiny place. So are Security and Widefield, but they’re both nice as well.

If you want Mountains, you need to be in Colorado Springs on the west side. OR you could actually move up INTO the mountains in, say, Manitou Springs, Divide, Green Mountain Falls or Woodland Park. But then you’ve just lost the affordability again. Monument is also a pretty mountainous town that’s further north, but it’s more expensive as well depending on which side of the highway you’re on.

What specifically would bring you to Colorado Springs?

To be honest, I just love Colorado. I’ve loved it since my family visited when I was a kid. Of course, I didn’t realize it’s true beauty until years later. 🙂

I’ve been back a few more times since, most recently in August. I am not naïve enough to think life is nothing but beautiful and grand simply because I’m in Colorado (or NOT in Texas anymore, LOL). However, for me personally, it’s just time for a change. So why not now? The time has just come, there are really no reasons to hold me back, and I’m excited for a change! So Colorado seems to be on the agenda because of the beauty of the mountains, the actual seasons you experience, actual cold weather for more than 3 days in December or January, did I say the beauty of the mountains? 🙂 As far as specifically to CS, I got a good vibe there.

I love its proximity to the mountains, the less crazy city feel, and again, cost of living. I’m glad you mentioned staying to the west. That’s what I was thinking, so thanks for the info. Yes, in one of my many searches lately, I discovered Woodland Park and have looked into a little, as well as Manitou Springs. I’m sure they will be more expensive than I’d like, especially at the beginning. But it’s good info to have. Also, thank you for mentioning Monument. It’s so nice to get information from someone actually there, with real and valuable information. Thank you again! Sorry I’ve rambled, haha! I’m just really excited and anxious 😉

Hello there, curious if you ever made the move? Reading your comment sounded like reading my own! hoping you made the move with success!

Hi! I did make the move in July 2014!!!! I LOVE being so close to the mountains—they are just gorgeous! I would still like to be in a smaller town but haven’t yet figured out where that would be (that I can afford, lol)
But it’s so awesome to experience seasons and cold temps and be in pretty close proximity to so many great cities and towns!

Congrats Andrea !!! You def went for it!! Def inspiring to me!! I think the biggest reason for me not moving at the moment is worrying about a decent paying job! i’ve spent many hours searching. I hope to make it there eventually as i feel spiritually connected to the mountains and CO in general! Best of luck to you and maybe one of these days we can catch up if i ever make it out! 🙂

I really enjoyed reading this and am planning to move there later this summer with my son. One question I have after doing a lot of research is how the general population is toward biracial children. Could you comment on the dynamic of race there? I noticed you mentioned that it’s a heavily Caucasian population, which it is where we are from in the North Seattle area as well, but I’m more interested in how they treat minorities/multiracial people there. Are there certain areas that are more open in this regard? Thank you!

Hi Ralene! That’s a fascinating question. I don’t exactly know how to answer other than to say I’ve never seen overt discrimination in Colorado Springs of just about any kind. I do know some folks from an interracial background, for example: one of my best friends is half Finnish and half Indian, and my Uncle married a Japanese gal so all of his kids (i.e. my cousins) are half white American and half Japanese. While I can’t speak for them, I’d say that in all the time I’ve spent with them here, I’ve never seen or heard of any issues.

I definitely have met people who’ve told me stories of where they lived before… for example, I just recently met a black guy with super long dreadlocks (maybe three or four feet long!) who said everybody here treats him fine but when he was in Oklahoma people would hassle him about his “alternative lifestyle” or something like that and give him dirty looks. I’ve also heard the same happens in parts of Utah, but not here in my experience.

There are tiny pockets of diversity—for example, when my wife and I were first married, we lived in an complex and our tiny place was in a building that had four apartments in it, and it was almost picture perfect: there was a Mexican family on the top left, a Vietnamese family on the top right, a black family on the bottom right, and us, the white folks on the bottom left. They were all nice folks and we got along fine.

If it’s really a big deal, I’d say stick to the southern part of Colorado Springs, near Fort Carson (i.e. Powers/Platte). That’s the most diverse side of town.

I hope that helps!

Thank you Ron! That does help a lot. It definitely sounds like a great place to enjoy a fun and adventurous life!

Hi Ron, Thank you for taking the time to compile all of this wonderful information regarding Colorado Springs together! I currently live in Houston, Texas and am considering making the move to Colorado in 2017, after college graduation. I am definitely drawn to the outdoor activities, and the idea of living in a state that experiences all four seasons. I do have a few questions, as I have actually never visited the state of Colorado… would Colorado Springs be considered more of a suburban area? Does it have a downtown? Do I need to invest in snow tires? Is it difficult to learn how to drive in snow? I plan on working for an Interior Design Firm, which I am currently researching Interior Design firms in the area, do you happen to know of any? Eventually, I plan to start my own Design Firm, do you think an interior design firm would thrive in the Colorado Springs area? You mentioned that there are not many pools, which worries me, because I love swimming, so could you expand on that. Also, do they have lakes over there, or even in proximity? Hiking… should I be worried about mountain lions? LOL, but that is a real question. In my research I found that the cost of living is far more reasonable than that of Denver, would you find this to be true? And thank you for sharing about the exploding yogurt, I can not wait to prank everyone who comes to visit! ;P

Hi Marissa, all great questions! Let me see if I can answer them.

Suburban: I don’t know how to define “suburban,” but I’ll say this: we have a half-million people here, and at some places, our city is about 30 miles across. Our downtown is basically one street (Tejon St) that runs about ten blocks north and south, and the highest building we have in the entire city is the Wells Fargo building on Cascade which is 16 stories tall. So, do we “have a downtown”? Technically, “yes,” we do. However, if you’re driving up the Interstate, you could easily pass it if you blink.

Snow tires: nahh. I’ve lived here almost 16 years and have never had snow tires. Just drive slowly on the snow and you’ll be fine.

Pools: there are very few “neighborhood” pools here. Where I grew up, there’s a neighborhood pool every 10 blocks. Here, I’ve seen maybe three of them in the entire city. Everyone who swims here is either a member of a fitness club or the YMCA. It’s just that simple. It’s because it’s so cold here in the wintertime that it really doesn’t make sense to have an outdoor pool. I understand why that is, but it still does frustrate me. 2)

Interior Design: I’m not sure what to recommend for an interior design firm, but if you can get hooked up with some home builders or real estate agents you may be able to make a great living. I don’t know any interior designers personally though so I can’t comment from experience.

Mountain Lions: yes, you should be worried about mountain lions, and bears.. ..if you’re hiking in a backwoods area all by yourself. People die every year from getting mauled by mountain lions, but as I understand, it’s because they’re all alone (a big mistake, IMHO) and they’re WAY off the beaten path.

Cost of living: yes, Colorado Springs is far more affordable than Denver.

Good luck with the exploding yogurt cups and potato chip bags!

I like to know if Colorado Springs is a good place to live because of moving from Florida to Colorado it is to expensive in Florida and hard.

Hi Ron,
Great post! Thank you for the information. I am moving to Colorado Springs from Chicago next year and started searching for an area to move to. My husband is based out of Fort Carson and we don’t have any kids currently. I am looking for a neighborhood with newer housing developments. What area or zip code would you recommend I search for housing under? Any info is greatly appreciated!!!!

Hi Jennifer, good to hear from you. I guess it depends on whether you’re buying or renting. I’m not sure about zip codes, but Jennifer Crosby is a real estate agent friend of mine who has helped many of my acquaintances relocate to Colorado Springs from elsewhere. Try contacting her at She knows all about the zip codes, school districts, commutes from military bases, etc. Try that!

Ron, We’re moving there from FL, soon, and looking to rent a house. It seems like a lot of landlords don’t want tenants with cats. What’s up with that? We have two that are outside, mostly, as we currently live in a very private area. SO, is there some issue with having cats in Co Springs?

Hi Sue, wow… that is an interesting question. Are you saying that Colorado rentals are more hostile towards cats than in Florida? If that’s the case, I didn’t know… I thought all rentals all the time didn’t like cats. I know why it is, but I didn’t think it’s that unique to us—it’s because cats frequently spray inside a house and once you’ve gotten that inside a house, you will never, ever be able to get rid of it, so homeowners and rental companies are very wary of this. Aside from that, I don’t see any issue with having cats in Colorado Springs… I’ve had several over the years and they’ve all been just fine. 🙂

Thanks for putting this together Ron. My wife and I are finally talking about leaving the bay area; San Jose to be specific. I know quite a bit about CS except for the job market in terms of my profession. I work in financial services, what are some of the larger credit unions/banks in the area? Also, we have a 7 year old who’s been fortunate enough to attend a charter school for first grade; how are the schools in the Falcon and Fountain areas? Are these nice areas for a family? I’m sure I’ll have additional questions down the road, thanks for being available as a reference. All the best!

Hi Justin, there sure are lots of people moving here from the bay area! To answer your question, there are LOTS of banks and credit unions here, and I think finance is one of our stronger industry sectors actually. A few come to mind: Ent FCU, Air Academy FCU, USAA, Security Service FCU, BBVA Compass Bank, Integrity Bank, UMB, Vectra Bank, and many, many more. I actually know a bunch of people who work in banking so if you want to get in touch, I could probably introduce you.

For schools, I’m not sure exactly: I hate to say it but I don’t know anything about Fountain. Falcon is in D49, which is fine, but it’s one of the less popular school districts in town. My kids go to a charter school in D49 and we’ve had a wonderful experience though.

Falcon’s a nice place for families, I guess, but I used to live nearby and hated it because it’s flat, brown, and boring. There are no trees, and it’s cow land out there—not my gig. However, some people love it, probably because there’s lot of room to expand and land is relatively cheap there.

Let me know if you head out this way!

This was great to read! I am 24 and from Ohio, looking to start fresh someplace new, and immediately thought of Colorado. Do you think Colorado Springs would be an appropriate place for a young, single girl like myself to move to all by myself? Since I would be coming by myself, I would need to meet people.
Also, my degree is in health administration, so what is the healthcare industry like there? I would obviously need a job too. If not Colorado Springs, do you have any other suggestions? Boulder would be too expensive, I would need some place affordable.

Hi Sarah! Thanks for dropping a line! I’m not sure exactly how to answer that question for a young, single gal, but I would say this: it’s quite safe here. The crime is low, the people are nice, the air is clean, and life is affordable, so based on those criteria, I’d say yes.

Also, there are a few great groups in town that are helping young professionals get traction in the job market and getting a head start on your career. My favorite group is the Rising Professionals (you can see them here:

I think you could get a job here, especially because healthcare is one of our largest industry sectors: there are TONS of healthcare organizations here that are growing and hiring (Aspen Pointe, Peak Vista, CS Health Partners, etc), and with UCCS’s new multi-million dollar Sports Medicine complex and the recent acquisition of Memorial Health Systems by the University of Colorado Health Dept, there will be LOTS more growth in healthcare in the near and distant future.

Come on out! You’ll like it here!

Any advice for two 24 year old guys possibly moving from Columbus, Ohio? I’m very adventurous and interested in outdoors. Right now it is between here (heard good things), Phoenix, or MAYBE Florida. I am slightly worried about meeting girls here from what i’ve read. I’m not religious at all so that is a little concerning. And as far as jobs go, I have no real career right now, I have a business degree and i’m thinking about getting into personal training but haven’t quite yet, and I have a lot of customer service experience. So how difficult do you think it would be to find a decent paying job? Appreciate your time!

My friend and I are both 24 and strongly considering moving here for a fresh start and a change. Also because this Ohio winter this year has been brutal. But it is good to know there will be at least one single girl there! Lol.

Hello Ron,
I truly enjoyed reading your blog as I am also looking at relocation from CA to get away from the high cost and the ability to breathe fresh air. My question is is there youth sports like tackel football, baseball, basketball leagues within Colorado Springs?

Hi Jeremy, I definitely think a career in fitness or personal training would work well out here. As I’ve teased before, I don’t know what the dating scene is like because I’ve been married all my adult life. 🙂 I think you’ll like it here though.

Thanks Ron! I truly appreciate your blog from a person who is looking to relocate to the Springs.

I was born in CA, and raised in San Diego, and joined the Air Force when I was 18, and retired after 20 years. Not the norm for a woman, but I loved being stationed overseas. Anyway, went back home for 15 years, too expensive, so came back to Colo Springs in 2006.

The fact that it’s a military town works for me, for medical benefits, etc. The Springs is not as good as it was in the 80s, but then what is, and it’s still better than most places. I bought my dream home, a 2,000 sf Tri-level w/basement and large yards, and my mortgage is the same as my rent for a two bedroom apt in San Diego, so I won’t be going back, except to visit family.

It sounds like this is the first time you’ve left CA, even so, I have to agree with a lot of what you say, even though some of it are differences you’ll find anywhere you move, depending on where you go. I mean, most people don’t swim where there’s no water, ditto for good seafood, but then CA doesn’t have a lot of Bison or Elk either. Most foreign words are hard to pronounce if you never heard the word before, and CA has a much bigger Spanish population which helps, but then being a blogger, you’re probably more concerned about pronunciation than most of us. I also have no idea what a hmong is, so maybe that’s common where you lived.

As for the AC, CA needs it more than here, since they don’t have basements. Personally, I have a bed, TV and laptop in my basement, so hang out down there on the few really hot days, since it’s a good 10-20 degrees cooler, so do most the people I know, and since the humidity is so low, it doesn’t feel that hot anyway.

I drive an XTerra, an SUV, like a lot of people do here, it’s got 4WD and is easier to drive in the snow than a sports car, and the hail doesn’t rip through your soft top. I had a Jeep Liberty that got so much hail damage, I just traded it in rather than fix it. Most years the hail isn’t too bad, but a couple years ago, it was horrible, busted out car windows, etc. I agree with you about the snow here though, and have never shovelled snow yet. I watch my neighbors do it the second it falls and they even shovel my walk for me, not that I care, I think they’re crazy, because as you said, it melts the next day, maybe they do it for the exercise, I’d rather stay in where it’s warm. Anyway, I think we have the best winters anywhere, where else can you shovel snow one day, and run around in a TShirt the next?

I grew up in a tourist town, so it’s kind of the norm, that you don’t go where the tourists go. I think I did as a kid, but never went to Seaworld or the zoo as an adult there, just as I’ve never gone to the top of Pikes Peak. I do go to Manitou Springs though, my favorite place to shop, and they have places to eat outside, the wine festival, craft shows, farmers market, and a lot of cool activities, and the arcade, and the river runs right through the town, I love it. That’s probably where the hippies are that you’re talking about, a lot of creative people, artists, etc. Other than that, and maybe Tejon, if you like the bar scene, I don’t think there’s a lot to do here, unless you’re really into outdoor activities. We are located right between Denver and Pueblo, so I go to Denver for a lot of stuff, and I love the River Walk in Pueblo, both are less than an hour to drive. I also like some of the small towns along the way.

I do have to agree with most of what you say. My biggest pro here, especially after living in Texas, ND, Panama and the Philippines, very humid places, is the lack of bugs here. The Miller months come for a couple weeks, so I’ve learned not to brush up against any bushes during that time, but my cats love them, so they don’t last long when they get in the house.

My one big gripe, same as you, and it was the same 20 years ago, is these people can’t drive. I’ve lived all over the US, and overseas, and have yet to see worse drivers than they have here, everything you said, to the letter. You have to learn to be a defensive driver here, or your car will never survive. I worked for awhile at the State Driver’s License Office, which gave me some insight as to why. Can’t speak English? Bring your husband, brother, nephew to interpret, like we’d know the difference, then after they give you the answers and you pass the written test, one trip around the block, and if you don’t hit anyone, voila! You have a license. Until a few years ago, they would be good for 10 years too, at least they finally got that straight. And you don’t even have to study, just come back every day, fail, they tell you what you missed, and you can come back and take a test every day until you pass. Amazing! Anyway, that’s a whole different subject.

Oh yeah, and like you said, the construction is ridiculous, it takes forever to fill a pothole! And there are always construction signs, to yield, then you get up there, and there’s no construction, or there’s a sign, and two feet later is the lane, so it gets all backs up.

OK, I’ll shut up. I’m just glad you like it here, and I think most people do. Everyone I’ve known who has left Colorado, has come back in a year or two, so I think most people would love it here. I guess I’m a little longwinded here, probably because I’ve lived in both CA & CO, so have experienced the good and bad of each, same as you. Enjoy, and I really love reading this stuff, and you’ve made it entertaining on top of it.

Hi Ron, my family and I are relocating to the Springs this summer. We are looking in the Banning Lewis Ranch area. What do you know about that area, and have you heard anything about the charter school there? Also, is traffic bad on Powers during commute times? Thanks!

I found this to be a rather interesting blog. After having visited COS for the first time last June, I noticed several of your “quirks” to be true. My wife and I plan to make a move to the Springs area upon her retirement. So many of the quirks that you pointed out about the town are the exact reasons we have been so attracted to Colorado Springs. Coming from Tupelo, Mississippi(where Elvis was born), we are both looking for a fresh start. There is just slight bit of culture shock between here and there. Makes us both wonder why we have waited so long to try a different part of the country. We will make a return trip the first week of June. The anticipation is immeasurable!
Thank you for such an informative and equally amusing blog about a wonderful city.
Enjoy your day!

Thanks Marty! I’m always glad to hear from people who find what I write helpful. 🙂 I’m sure you’ll enjoy it here, especially due to the lack of bugs and humidity!

Hi Katie,

That’s a great question. We have some friends who live in Banning Lewis and send their kids to the charter school there, so I could ask them… but off the top of my head, I don’t know for sure. I am personally not a fan of the eastern prairie (and Banning Lewis is getting pretty close to the Falcon/Peyton area), but there are people who like it. Powers can be horrendous during commute times, but that’s generally down south below Platte—there’s a huge rush of traffic to and from Peterson AFB and Schriever AFB and Powers is the main thoroughfare that gets people there. However, I don’t think you have to worry if you don’t have to go that far south.

Hi Katie, thanks for commenting! A few quick thoughts: I’ve been all over the USA and a few other places (at least 20 states and counting, plus Canada, the UK, and the Caribbean) so this wasn’t the first time I had left California. 🙂

Also, I hope it didn’t seem like I was complaining about it being a Military town. I certainly respect and appreciate our military and always have. I just…struggle sometimes with the fact that it’s such a military town that I almost feel out of place, like a minority in that people are always asking me if I’m in the military and I always have to say no.

Oh well. Great thoughts, and I appreciate your perspective!

Hey Ron…….Sorry for assuming you never left CA before now, you are obviously more well traveled than most people.

I guess I got a little carried away with my comments, but you’re right, even for a military town, the Springs is very military, since they have so many facilities all crammed into a fairly small area, considering the size of some of them. I think if you put just Ft Carson and the Academy into the town proper, there would be no room left for anything else, good thing there’s so much open space around here.

I hope you didn’t take offense to anything I said, just adding my two sense. I lived a good chunk of my life in CA (33 years total), and a total of 13 years in the Springs, so I think of them both as home, although I plan to stay in Colorado now, and have no desire to move again, but then you never know what opportunities might come up, so nothing’s written in stone. I wouldn’t mind spending a few years overseas again, like maybe Italy, or Spain, or wherever, but I have too many animals to do anything anytime soon, and I don’t guess I’m going to live forever, so we’ll see.

Anyway, you covered about everything I love and hate about it here, so I’m sure that will be helpful to anyone considering moving here. I think the cost of living is another big one, near the top of the list, since it was my main reason for leaving CA and coming back to the Springs. You get so much more bang for your buck, and it’s just so much easier to live here, financially. Keep up the good work, I hope to read more………. CINDI P.S.: Who’s Katie??? (LOL)

Cindi (Sorry—I think I accidentally called you Katie because I was responding to someone else on a different comment. My mistake). No offense taken at all, I just wanted to clarify. All good thoughts. 🙂

Hi, just wanted to say one more thing. I’m retired military, and no one ever asks me if I’m military. I didn’t even think about military discounts, until I was behind someone one time at Denny’s, and they asked about it, so now I do too, when I think about it. I guess they don’t think about a 60 y/o woman as being military. On the other hand, you are young, and from your picture, it looks like you could be military, so they probably just assume you are.

Anyway, that bit of brilliance just popped in my head, so thought I’d share it.

Thank you So much for writing this blog. Great to read all of your comments. I have just received a job offer in CS and am a bit hesitant since I was hoping for something closer to Denver. I am in my mid-20s and am looking for close access to mountains for skiing/mtn biking along with a small bar scene 🙂 . How is the commute from CS to Denver on weekends? What about the commute to other places such as Winter Park? Also what areas do you recommend to look for apartments in CS for a young adult looking for a fun yet safe area?

Thank you for your time!!! Very Much Appreciated

Hi Kathleen, congrats on the job offer! Interesting question… the commute to Denver can be as short as one hour (with no traffic) to as long as three hours (with traffic and/or snow). Lots of people to make the trek up to Vail, Monarch, or Breckenridge on the weekend to ski though. (I’m not one of them—I don’t like snow sports at all). For apartments, my recommendation is the west side: Grand Centennial is where I lived when I was single and it was awesome. There are several apartments near Centennial & Garden of the Gods, and that’s where I would stay if I were still single. That side of town is very safe and it’s a strong community of cool folks. If you’re really interested in being close to Denver, you can get a place in Castle Rock or Sedalia—that’s about halfway between Denver and Colorado Springs.

I know this is an old article, but….

Ha. This was entertaining and informative. I’m from the Cincinnati area, the door holding and the greeting of random strangers is normal to me and I enjoy it. My dad raised us this way, holding doors was treated line saying please and thank you.

Not pronouncing words properly is normal here. I just assumed it was from all the different immigrants that settled the area and pronounced words as they they would be pronounced in English. Haha.

Anyway good article, friendly people are great. Most of us live in the same country but experience it differently.

Good job.

We are moving to Colorado Springs in June. We are thinking of opening a business… any suggestions?

Hi Ron! Thank you for this informative post, I really enjoyed reading it. I’m moving to Colorado Springs in June for a new job. I wanted to live closer to where I work for shorter commute, and my company is located right in between Briargate and Northgate. Do you have any suggestions on good apartments or neighborhoods to consider? I read in the comments that you recommend Rockrimmon, Grand Centennial, and Garden of the Gods. Are there any other apartment neighborhoods that may be closer to Briargate or Northgate? And what kind of areas are Briargate and Northgate? Thank you so much! 🙂

Hi Helen! Welcome! You’ll like it here, I think… as long as you stay hydrated and don’t open yogurt containers into your face. 🙂

If I were you, I’d look into the westside or Briargate. They’re both nice. Briargate is a little more boring because it’s on the wrong side of the Interstate (i.e. it’s east of I-25, where there are no trees), but it’s still very nice. The benefit of Rockrimmon on the west side is that it’s right off of the highway so you can zip up north to your job SUPER fast.

I’m not sure about specific neighborhoods or apartment complexes, but if you contact my friend Ray Brown (, I’m sure he can help you—he’s an expert on that kind of thing and would probably give you some advice for free. Let me know how it goes, and once you get here, let me know and I’ll buy you a beer at a local microbrew!

Great, thank you so much!! I think I’ll really like it there 🙂 I really appreciate all your tips and help, it’s been very helpful!

Hi Ron, I know you wrote this awhile back, but I have enjoyed reading it, as well as most of the comments. We are looking into moving to the CS area this summer. I grew up in Texas in my younger years , then in my middle school years moved to Omaha, Ne where I have lived most of my life. I met my husband had three children, and moved to Alabama (by the beach) and have been here for the last three years. We are just not happy with the area, as well as my husband and daughter have severe allergies that cause them to also have asthma problems. That combined with needing better schools, more business opportunity for my husband who is in sales (professionalism is greatly lacking down here) and we love to do out-doorsy stuff but with the allergy/asthma problem it limits us quite a bit. My children are also very involved in sports. My husband is somewhat familiar with the area, but I am super nervous about the move. Our girls are in elementary, but our son will start High School this year, and we don’t want to move again. We are hoping to come visit in the next month to check out the area, but I was curious what you or anyone knows about allergies in the area. I am also very interested in gardening (which I heard is also a little difficult in the area), and health and whole foods availability in the area. I have heard it was a very green and health conscious area, but when I read that recycling was almost non-existent at first, I was a little worried.I know that is a lot, but any help is so much appreciated!

Hi Cheryl, I certainly understand your hesitation—moving is tough! I had a rough time when we first moved here getting used to the new territory, but I fit right in after a few months. 🙂 Here are a few quick answers:

Gardening: yes, it’s tough. I’ve heard that gourds (pumpkins, squash, etc) grow pretty well, and tomatoes grow pretty well here in greenhouses, but you’re definitely not going to see big gardens in people’s backyards like you do where you live now. I have never planted anything here because we have weird weather where we’ll see frost, snow, or even hail late in the spring or early summer sometimes, so it’s very unpredictable. Sometimes we’ll get lots of pretty blooms on the trees all over the city, and a massive June hailstorm will crush everything. It’s kinda weird that way. This happened to my next door neighbor last year: she spent several days planting a big beautiful section in her front yard with lovely flowers and then the next week a hailstorm came and killed everything and she had to tear it out.

Green/Health Conscious: if you’re really into this kind of stuff, Manitou Springs or Boulder are up your alley. Colorado Springs is …kind of into stuff like that, but not nearly as much as other places.

Allergies: I can’t answer this one for you since everyone’s allergic to different things. I’m certain that the plants we have our here are different than what you’re used to, so if you’re allergic to some sort of warm-weather plant, maybe moving here will help. Or it might not, as we still have plenty of allergens, such as Pine, Ragweed, Cedar, etc.

So I’d say the smartest thing to do would be to do what you’re planning: come out for a visit and see how you like it first. If you’re here for a week or so, I think you’d get a really good feel for

Hi Ron, For a four year old article the comments just keep coming, well written and I’ve already noticed several of your observations during trips to CS. I’ve visited several times because my wife and I have decided to make the leap and head to CS. Been planning the move about 3 years and saved for a year, after vacations we knew we needed mountains looming on the horizon. On that note, we’ve rented a house almost touching Garden of the Gods and paid ahead rent, both of us were offered a transfer through work and now both have not materialized. I’m a manufacturing engineer from the Dallas area and I have applied at a couple of places that seemed like a good fit for me but I’m waiting until next month when I’d be available to interview to really buckle down on a job search. We are both pretty scared about going into this without jobs lined up but we’re doing it anyway. If you have any suggestions for a couple of young newlywed professionals moving to the Springs to live our dreams and start a new home and work life, I’d love to hear them. We may need something to help get through the first couple of months but I’m a determined guy and will do what I have to to provide.

Weather has been beautiful every time we’ve visited, got a taste of everything from -8°F to 80°, I’ve found the dry air to be so mild and comfortable that we can’t complain no matter what the thermometer says. Coming from Dallas and moving on June 1st I do worry about AC though, since the rental doesn’t have central air, I’m ready to buy a window unit but I’ve never used a swamp cooler, Any thoughts on how well they work in CS? Well enough to skip the AC unit?
To comment on some of the comments, I also found CS rentals less friendly towards cats than down here in TX, but I found one ’cause I couldn’t leave my Kitty!!
Mountain views were a must for us too, that’s why you move to CO, right? Drove the state (CS to Ft. Collins and everywhere in between) in Jan to decide where to rent and chose CS since the mountains are so close, you can’t confuse the mountains with clouds on the horizon like I found in Parker. So, we chose locations carefully and got Pikes Peak out the bedroom window and deer in the yard the first morning at the new rental. Just Beautiful. But I do worry about making this huge life change and then the newness or vacation feeling wearing off and being somewhere I don’t like… with a view. So do you still admire the mountains after living here a while or, like the deer, is that a tourist thing to stop and watch? Thanks Ron, Great source of info!

Hi Bryan! Thanks for the comment—yeah, I think I hit a nerve with this post. 🙂 It gets a lot of traffic! I’m glad you’ve validated my observations, and congrats on deciding to move out here! If you’re looking for a manufacturing engineering job, check out these guys: They’re kicking butt, hiring people, and they do a lot of cool stuff (plus I know one of the guys on staff).

I understand the fear of jumping out into thin air by coming here before getting a job, but my own family did it 16+ years ago and we turned out Ok.

As far as swamp coolers go, I’m not sure. I used to have a client that was an HVAC company, and they didn’t do work on swamp coolers or install new ones, but they did say they work well in this climate. …which is funny, because I don’t know anybody who has one. I had many friends who used them in California, but I haven’t seen them out here. I think, if you’re coming from Dallas, you’ll either laugh at our summer weather, or happily run down to Home Depot and pick up a window unit. Our summers are very mild, compared to where you’re from.

I never get tired of the mountains, however, I never do anything in the mountains. I’ve hiked in the mountains maybe 4 times since I moved here… I’m just not into them. But I always appreciate having them around, for a sense of direction (“Which way is West? Oh, there’s Pikes Peak.”)

I’m currently in Phoenix, AZ and originally from Tacoma, WA. Is the weather kind of in between? And are there any specific areas I should look at if I want something with an actual back yard or kind of a country feel?

Hi Nicole, unfortunately, I don’t know, since I haven’t lived in Tacoma or Phoenix. I’d say it’s much less wet than Tacoma and much cooler than Phoenix, if I had to guess.

I LOVED this post. My husband is getting out of the Army and we have been debating between Austin and Colorado Springs. Both are totally different and we only have a couple more months before we have to make a final decision. How are the IT jobs there? are there many?

That’s great Chantal! I have some friends who moved here from Austin, and they really like it here. Here’s the most simplistic (and over-generalizing) way I can draw a line between the two (as I understand):

Austin: an expensive, fun, artistic, hot, humid, buggy place for cool young people.

Colorado Springs: a less expensive, slightly boring, beautiful, cold, dry place for old people or families with kids.

Ha! I hope that helps. In terms of your question about jobs, it all depends on which industry you’re in. If you mean IT that is related in any way to the Defense Sector, this city is ground zero for those jobs. We have mucho jobs for people like that. Outside of that, no, we have very, very few “true” IT jobs. The best you could get is an in-house IT position for a healthcare or telecom company, perhaps. I could be wrong, but that’s my impression.

Hi Ron, love your blog and have enjoyed reading all the posts. My roommate/best friend and I are planning on relocating to the Springs late this year or early next year, with a visit this Sept/Oct to check it out. We are coming from Sacramento, CA.
Have been looking at the houses in Trulia and Zillow and it appears a lot of the homes have electric stoves. Is that more common in the Springs or is it a matter of changing it out to gas? Of course we will get a relator in the area when we are ready.
We’ll be asking a lot of questions as we move thru the process.
Thanks, Eadie

Hi Eadie, interesting question… I’ve never really thought of that or noticed it before. I’m not sure. I think all of the apartments I lived in when I was single had electric stoves. …but the townhouse I lived in after I got married and the house I live in now (that I bought) has gas. So maybe it’s just a conscious decision on the part of the developers who build multi-family housing to only offer electric stoves. I don’t think you could just “change it out” though—either a house is piped for natural gas, or it isn’t, so you can’t just make a swap easily: there would be some major retrofitting, and it would still only work if you get natural gas in your area. Which reminds me, now that I think about it: there are certain parts of town that don’t offer gas that I know of, such as the Black Forest area, but that’s because it’s a pretty rural area and there were just no gas lines put in back in the 60s/70s when most of the homes were built. So the homes that do have gas out there are powered by propane, but that’s up to each individual home owner to decide whether they want to do that or not.

I hope that helps!

Hey Ron- when looking everywhere for information about the different neighborhoods in Colorado Springs I came across this post! Thank you! I was born and raised in Colorado, but am not familiar with the Springs area. I have two children, and my husband is looking at relocating down there for his job. I would continue to be a stay-at-home mom, but am wondering if you had a suggestion as to what neighborhood(s) we should be looking at. We love going to the public library, parks, and where churches and other families, etc. would be located. We are also interested in attending the Mountain Song charter school, but I realize that it’s close to the downtown area, and that may not be ideally “family-friendly” living! Thanks for your help!

Hi MK, thanks for the question! If you really like going to the library, parks and more and want to WALK there, downtown is definitely the place you want to be. If you don’t mind driving, there are plenty of other places in town that would do just fine. And they are definitely family-friendly parts of downtown. I’ve never heard of mountain song charter school… I’ll have to look into it. What part of Colorado are you coming from?

I’m a upstate N.Y’er and totally have had it with the 6 mo. cold weather and highest cost of living in the US., Anyhow its sounds really nice for sure , only thing i would be lacking is my swimming fix. Are there any lakes or rivers or streams to take a dip in ?? Wheres the closest beach.Love the craft beer aspect of it ,we do have some great ones here in the east .. Oh and how do most heat there houses there , just curious on pricing for say electric bills or propane , we send like 2 grand a yr for propane heat .I’m not a city person , would like a small town on outskirts . i can transfer to a Ace warehouse there in CS.

Hi Joe, yes, we have some rivers, lakes, and streams. Not here in Colorado Springs, but up in the mountains a bit. Not too far away. The water is usually very cold though, so I never go in. 🙂 The closest “beach” is the Pueblo Reservoir, which has a man-made swim beach which is kind of fun for kids, but the water is muddy and dark, so again, I’m not into it much. Most of the homes here are heated by natural gas using a furnace, unless you live in rural areas in which case you’d use a propane tank to power your furnace. There are some small areas on the outskirts of town, like Peyton, and Ellicot that you might like, but they’re too Cowboy for me. 🙂

Federal prison in Florissant? Nope! LOL Try “Florence”. Unless I missed it previously, I’m surprised none of the natives corrected that one…
As a native, I can tell you that, while the residents of this town are nicer than others, San Diego had the friendliest population of all the towns I’ve visited. People here are more than content to avoid eye-contact at all costs (and they’re meaner than a honey-badger on the road). Not like the south, where one friendly woman met my gaze in the bathroom mirror with a rather…gulp…grotesque tale of her pancreas problems. She was just keepin’ it reeeel, I suppose 😉

Good call on the prison not being in Florissant—you’re right… I just never noticed I guess because I have so little exposure to prisons! I hope that’s a good thing. 😉

This was a fun and informative article. I wish you could move to all the cities I am considering to discover their quirks. I live in So Cal and just really want to raise my child somewhere other than this materialistic, overpriced dream land.

I am a single mother of a small child and I am 35+. While living in San Diego is a little materialistic and shallow, it is so densely populated with all types, my situation is not unique or least not to my face. Raising my child in a more wholesome atmosphere is important to me, but it would be nice to be easily accepted. Thoughts?

Hello Ron, great read. My friend and his wife after a few years debating are making the move from Virginia and talked me into going with them. Originally they chose Denver because family live there but she got an offer in Pueblo and have changed location to CS. I love everything about Colorado but as a young single guy your comment about it being a military town scares me. What is the social scene like for singles?

Hi Nick, the best resource I can offer you is They’re a bunch of young professionals that are all about getting together, networking, etc. I honestly can’t answer for single life in town though, because I got married at 20 years old and haven’t spent much time here as a single guy. One of the folks at the CSRP group could point you in the right direction though. Good luck!

Hi Ron,

We have been looking into moving to Colorado Springs for over 5 years now. We currently live in Los Angeles, although my boyfriend is from Albuquerque and misses the smaller city immensely! Colorado Springs feels right, it has all this time. I am a teacher, I have my Colorado teaching credential ready to go. But, it is a scary jump to make the move. My job is stable and secure here, how’s the teaching world out there? Any information on how teachers live? It isn’t a profession known to make the most money and we don’t know what my boyfriend would do until we got there.
It just always feels like such a perfect spot for us, a place that will make us both smile as it’s a happy medium and just downright pretty.
Oh yes, plus… I’m scared of the cold and the snow… So Cal born and raised eek!
Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thank you for the article!

That’s a great question, Cara. I’m not sure. I think it depends on what kind of teaching you want to do, i.e. elementary, high, college, etc. Higher education is a major part of our local economy, though I think the salaries aren’t very high when compared to other states.

Good point. I am an elementary teacher, I have my credential K-6 grades. I’ve been looking at Academy District 20 mostly. But I will go anywhere that we can live well. I will look into administration in the future but for now it is teaching. I love it and want to be able to do it out there comfortably 🙂

If you’re thinking about moving out here, you can get in touch with my friend Ray Brown. He’s a real estate agent who helps people locate here and knows the ins and outs of things like salaries, and which neighborhoods are worth moving to, etc. You can check him out here, Let me know if you end up moving here!

I’m thinking of moving here from Sacramento, Ca. I’m originally from the bay area. I loved the bay area but it’s just too expensive for us to live comfortably. Bay area weather is great. It’s way too hot for me here in Sacramento. Is the summer weather cooler in CS?

Jana, yes! The weather sometimes will get up in the 90s here and people whine and complain and I like to tell them to grow up… because I remember sitting in 115 degree weather in Stockton with a broken air conditioner and we didn’t complain back then! 🙂 Colorado Springs is usually in the 70s or 80s and there’s very little humidity. The summers are one of the main reasons I’m still here after all these years!

I’m hoping I could get there within a few years. My mom can get a work transfer there. We would just need to get my husband a job there. How’s the economy there?

Jana, I’m not sure how to answer about the economy. It’s extremely dependent on the industry you’re in. We have three major sectors here that are pretty strong, 1) defense contracting, 2) healthcare, 3) nonprofits, and, one could also argue that there’s one more: 4) higher education. Most other industries are struggling or staying flat, so if you’re within one of those four, you’re probably okay. Otherwise, we’re holding on, but not booming.

Hello there! So glad to get some insight from some who lives in Colorado! Me and my family are strongly considering moving there! Not sure exactly what part yet though. I’ve looked into Leadville, Hayden and Vail. My question is: what is the cost of living like overall in Colorado? We would be moving from Alvarado,TX.

I enjoyed reading about your fine city we live in Kansas City I have been out to CS twice I would love to move out there and live we own a tree service and it looks like there is a lot of work that needs to be done. The air the people and the view is awesome can’t wait to come back out next year.

That’s great, Jeff! We certainly have a lot of trees out here that would keep you busy. Right now we’re hoping we don’t get an Emerald Ash Borer infestation, but if we do, there will be bucketloads of trees that need to come down. Take care!

Not sure if my first post came through so I’m going to try this again 🙂 Thank you for the insightful and honest viewpoint about living in Colorado Springs. My husband and I are considering moving to the area from Austin TX. We are both in sales in the IT industry but are concerned about the job opportunities. I have 6 years experience from Dell and I recently moved into an outside software sales role at another IT reseller here in Austin. We can apply our sales skills to other industries but I still had some concerns about availability in the area. “The Springs” really have everything we are looking for recreationally out of life as well as a family friendly environment. (We are going to start a family soon) Based on your post, it seems a lot of the IT businesses have moved elsewhere… Is there anywhere you would recommend I start looking? I am going to be in Denver for work at the end of this week and I will be taking a side trip down to Colorado Springs to check out the area again, it has been about 4 years since I visited. Is there anywhere you would recommend I check out specifically while I’m there to get a feel for the town? Thanks in advance for any additional insight you can give me!

Hi Jordan! Both comments came through, but I’ll respond to this one. First off, there are lots of former Texans here, so you’ll be in good company. There may be some good IT sales jobs here, for example, Oracle has a huge office here… but generally, we’re not known for IT jobs. If you could do something like find a software sales gig for a company that deals in or is affiliated with national defense somehow, that might work well, or a medical tech type job.

The heart and soul of Colorado Springs is in our downtown area. Though it is CRAZY tiny compared to other cities, you can get a decent feel for the type of community we are by checking it out. I’ve worked downtown at various jobs for about 8 years, and it’s where everything happens, so if you’re making note of places to visit, you’ll want to check that out for sure.

HI there, I really enjoyed your blog! thank you.
okay here is my question/ comments, I am an emergency room RN (level 1 trauma experience) I make great money here in LA, but I am over the city. I use to vacation in colorado springs every summer as a child and I can say hands down say those were my best childhood memories. I am seriously considering moving to CS BUT a cant find much/any information on how much $$ RN’s make I know it will be less and I know the cost of living is less BUT I still don’t know if what RN’s make in CO is enough to live on. Do you know any RN’s in CS?

I love the outdoors and grave it all the time I think CS will be a great place for me to live.

Hi Brenda! That’s a great question, and one I can answer from personal experience. My mom was an RN (ICU and NICU Nurse with BSN/CCRN), and when we moved here to Colorado Springs, she decided not to work here because the pay was at best 1/3 what she was making back in Stockton (literally—no exaggeration). As a per diem nurse, she was able to keep her job and just commute back and forth. I think she looked at it as a stopgap measure in the meantime while she looked for a good job here…. but she never did find one. She spent 16 years flying once a month to California to work for a long week (I think 5-6 days in a row), and fly back home for three weeks. She just retired two years ago.

I know several people who work in healthcare and could see what the local market is like if you’re interested. Maybe things have changed since then. I’m not sure.

Wow what are the chances you’re mom is a nurse.
I have to say this new confirms my fears about CO. I would really appreciate it you could ask around, that would be wonderful. Money isn’t everything But its definitely a huge factor. I would hate to make the move and not be able to live comfortably or own a home. Owning property is one if the main reasons I’d like to go to CO. Thank you again for replying and so quickly too.

Thx Ron. Please share whatever info you find any information would help. I would hate to move and be worse off and not be able to buy a home.

I too relocated from NorCal. All the things you say are so funny as they are totally spot on. So funny I agree so much on everything. Don’t forget no alcohol in Grocery stores, Rite Aid, Target, etc only in liquor stores, only 1 liquor license per owner but no helmet law but pot is Ok. I thought I was the only one who thought these things.

Hi Ron,
Thanks for taking the time to write this fun bog and for being a great ambassador for CS. I really appreciate all of the time you have taken over the years to answer questions for folks! My husband and I moved here in 2000 with Intel from Santa Clara and have totally settled in and put down roots in the community. Intel may have left, but we stayed. 🙂 Even though there is not a lot of racial diversity, one reason I think folks don’t show much overt discrimination is because of the military element. With such a large population of people who have lived all over the world, there is a comfort factor with various cultures that comes pretty naturally. It’s hard to find actual CS natives, since most of us are transplants, which makes starting a conversation pretty easy to do if you are open to it. Sometimes I think, “Where are you from” is our City’s official slogan

True, CS doesn’t have a huge night life, but one thing you missed is that it does have a fantastic small music scene. We don’t get many of the huge concerts that Denver boasts (though it’s only an hour drive to get there for one and I can think of 5 decent-to-large-sized concert halls here in town that draw good acts), but you can also hear live music from really good musicians 7 days a week with just a little effort! Heck, you can be one of those musicians if you want! It’s not too hard to get started and folks give new groups a chance.

Last thought, many folks asked about stuff for singles in a family-friendly town. The experience of my friends is it that dating will not be handed to you on a silver platter, but with 5 colleges/universities, a bizillion church groups, tons of outdoor groups, lots of artists and craft brewers and a small, but growing downtown vibe, it is very easy to get involved and meet fantastic people! Be authentic and authentic will come back to you in spades. Be a player, and you will find out REALLY FAST just how small of a town you can still have with 500,000 people living in it. Reputation matters here.

Thanks again, and yeah for no bugs and sunshine! (Having grown up in Oregon, they are two of my favorite things). Hope to get to know you soon!

Great thoughts, CeCe, and thanks for commenting! Apparently you and I know a few of the same folks, so we probably will bump into each other in the future. Great insight from your perspective, and I’m glad you stayed here! (My best friend growing up lived in Santa Clara, so I used to go there all the time and am quite familiar with it).

Hello Ron, I just want to say that your post was very insightful concerning the details of Colorado Springs. I am actually considering moving there with a friend and starting a new life. Thanks to your blog, I now know a couple of facts about your town.

…[edited for length]…

I was just wondering, is there a chance for a 20 something year old artist that has a lively active lifestyle, looking for a new start somewhere, could call Colorado Springs home? I prefer walking to work so when you mentioned the downtown area in one of your posts, it actually caught my attention. Do you know if they have any lofts or apartments available? And if so, what are the average price ranges? I have done my research on craigslist, though I did not see any lofts available. I was also wondering if there are any opportunity for an artist to make a living there designing. It doesn’t have to be an artist job, I do have a lot of experience in customer service but other than working for the food industry, what are the available job opportunities out there?

Wow Anthony, that’s all awesome. I think you’ll like it much better here in Colorado Springs, or anywhere in the Pikes Peak Region for that matter (Woodland Park, Manitou, Castle Rock, etc). It’s kind of hard to answer all those questions, so I’ll just say this: come out for a visit and take a look so you know for sure!

You can get super-cheap deals from Frontier Airlines from time to time from the east coast to Denver, and we’re just an hour south of there. Check it out: Sign up for their email alerts and they’ll send you an email when they have a super-cheap ticket. For example, I just flew from Denver–Ft Lauderdale, and back for about $150.

To answer your question about lofts downtown, there is a new building being built soon that will offer loft living downtown, which, up until now, was almost cost-prohibitively expensive for young professionals. I’m enthusiastic about this though, so take a look:

I hope that’s a little bit of help anyway!

Hey Ron… I’m a Brit looking and exploring a move with the family to the USA (I run a virtual marketing agency). Your post is awesome. What’s happening now we’re in 2015?

Hi Ant, hello from across the pond! That’s awesome. If you’re asking about the business or economic climate, Colorado Springs is slowly moving in the right direction. We’ve seen some new business capital start to trickle in, and some innovative new businesses and partnerships (amongst existing groups) make for some exciting developments. It would be hard to explain in one quick comment, but I’ll say I’m becoming a little more optimistic, but we’ve got a long way to go to really build a thriving economy here.

Hi Ron, I moved here from California almost 30 years ago and had the same thoughts. Reading this had me choking back laughter here at work. By the way, there is a spring that is no longer running in Monument Valley Park called Tahama Springs. I doubt it was considered the spring the city has in its name. There is an ongoing effort to repair it and you can read about here:

Rich, that’s awesome! I know—that’s a good point about the Springs… my buddy Nick Kittle was (I think) the driving force behind finally getting some traction on uncovering the actual Springs here. He showed me a small vial of water from it a few months ago. I can’t wait to see how it all pans out.

For the past 12 years I’ve lived in Chico (where folks smile and hold the door for you here, too) and lived in Aurora CO for 8 years before that. Looking to retire in Ft. Collins, Longmont or Colorado Springs. I’m somewhat leery of the Focus on the Family demographic in the Springs. Will people who classify themselves as “spiritual” (no church affiliation) rather than “religious” find like-minded people there? Do you get a preachy vibe from very many folks?

Nice—my aunt went to CSU Chico for a while. I’d say that unless you live in Briargate and work right next to Focus on the Family, no, it won’t really affect you at all. …at least that’s my experience. That part of town is its own little enclave: there’s Focus on the Family, Compassion, and New Life Church very close to each other, so that part of town is saturated with folks who swim in those circles. Anywhere south of there (especially downtown), you wouldn’t even know they were in the same city.

Hi Ron,
In one of your posts, you mentioned that you could help someone hook up with local businesses to help him find work. I too am interested in moving from southern Oregon to the Springs. I am an Air Force retiree who spent most of his active duty doing IT project management. After I retired, I went back to school to get a degree in film and television. Any recommendations of where I can focus my job search?

I really enjoyed reading your blog Ron. I am one who is moving to The Springs since I am getting to retire in 3-4 years. I had been to The Springs in 1998 and boy, the city has grown since. I am looking forward to moving there. I shall arrive on April 23, 2015. The only concern I have is, I still need to work, I wonder if I will be able to find a job in COS. Like you, I left the NorCal (Silicon Valley) for The Springs. Hugs, Sonia

Great article and spot on. We moved from the south suburbs of Denver to North COS 3 years ago…what a difference 70 miles can make. But our son plays lacrosse and has great opportunities here. Daughter figure skates and also has many opportunities. The one thing that surprised me was how good some restaurants are down here. There aren’t a ton, but for our little military town there are some great choices for foodies. Authentic Jamaican in COS, who would have thought!

Hi Ron..even though this is an older post I found it very interesting and helpful. I am a 48 year old woman who has been a housewife for 30 yrs and now find myself single and in need of a change. I dont have any family (unless you count my two Sr. rat terriers and my parrot as
family) .I have no roots anywhere except that I was born in Denver. I have no skills or trade so I think I could be a maid or a janitor while I work on a skillset in another field anywhere in the country. I really like Denver because of the light rail system. I am the only person in Des Moines Iowa that doesn’t drive in snow and I hate being trapped..However Denver isnt really in a maids price point for housing so I have been considering Colorado Springs. How is you public transportation there?
I believe I would love Manitou Springs..but again out of my reach for now. Does Colorado Springs have any Art or culture? In Des Moines the owner of Papa Johns funded what is billed as a world class sculpture garden on three city blocks downtown and it changed the whole dynamic of the city. People hang out in the garden/ park and in turn they spend money while they are downtown grabbing a bite to eat, shopping in small shops, ect..we have an art museum and a botanical center that is a great place to spend a winter day! Do you have things like that to enjoy?
Also you mentioned yogurt and chips..but what other challenges do you face cooking? Do you have to follow high altitude directions when baking a cake? Due to fire risk are you allowed to charcoal steaks on a grill? To a midwest gal …a smoker is a must have item! Lol! You Colorado folks might raise an eyebrow but once you taste a smoked steak you’ll never want a plain one again. You mentioned a lack of seafood..that is upsetting. Fish is very expensive here ( nearly 20.00 for a pound of sea bass) in iowa but we have a few small seafood restaurants which also have markets anda sushi bar that have the seafood flown in ..I am not sure I can survive with no sushi…please tell me you have sushi…
Also how is your Harley riding community? Are there many riders? A dealership?
And you probably dont know this but I am hoping someone can help..Will my parrot have problems adjusting to the altitude? Do I have to do anything special when we make the move? If anyone has moved a parrot who has lived his whole life in ” normal altitude” lol to high altitude could advise me I would appreciate it.

Hi Kristen,

I’m glad you like the springs! Yes, we’ve had some interesting, small restaurants pop up recently that are pretty fun. My office is one block from the Jamaican place, and it’s very good. 🙂

Hi Carol, public transportation really doesn’t exist in the Springs and we’re spread geographically so far that it’s nearly impossible to use unless you happen to have an office right next to a bus stop and a home right next to a bus stop. We do have some arts and culture in Colorado Springs, mostly downtown. There aren’t any major cooking challenges in my experience, but I do sometimes follow high-altitude directions. There are no city-wide regulations that I know of about grilling and people use charcoal all the time (unless you’re renting at an apartment or townhome complex and most of those have rules against charcoal). We do have sushi, but I don’t like it so I don’t know much about it other than to say most people here that do like sushi go to Denver to find a good sushi restaurant. I don’t know anything about Harleys—I’ve never ridden a motorcycle, but we do have dealerships. I can’t speak to parrots specifically, but I had two cockatiels when I moved here and they adjusted to the elevation just fine. 🙂

This was a great blog! I am so glad you wrote this!! I am from Florida and will be moving there when my husband relocates. The no mosquitoes thing sold me. Do you have any more bad things about this area I should know about. I want to know so I can be fully prepared. My son is two, so I already looked up school zones. But are there bad parts of town, or parts to avoid? Having never seen snow, is driving in it really that difficult if it melts so quickly? Thanks!

Sarah, it all depends on what your definition of “bad” is, because it’s relative to where you’re coming from. For me, ANY part of Colorado Springs was a huge improvement from Stockton, CA. If you live in Chicago, I’m sure the roughest part of Colorado Springs is safer and cleaner than just about anywhere in the Windy City. So in your case, I’m not sure. To answer your question about snow, no—driving here in the snow is easy because it melts so far. It’s just that the drivers here zoom around like idiots and crash sometimes even though there’s just a tiny amount of snow or ice because it’s so unusual when it happens. If you’d like more info on the best places in town, feel free to contact my friend Jennifer at and she can help answer that better than I can. 🙂

I know this blog is 2 or 3 years old but it has given me info about many questions I had about Colorado Springs. My daughter just moved there two days ago from Lawrence Kansas. I was very apprehensive about her moving there. She visited there on vacation last year and decided to move her family there not knowing that much about the area.Making me crazy! This blog helped ease my mind a little. Thanks for the info. Very helpful!

Hi Susan, we have a teeny tiny little budding arts community here, so I would have to say “yes.” But it’s obviously nothing like Dallas, or L.A.. But we’re getting better at it.

Hi Ron
First of all, we love your blog.
We are family in our 30’s with 2 young kids and 1 horse:) We want to move to Colorado, and we are considering Colorado Springs. Unfortunately, it is so huge, and it’s extremely difficult to find appropriate place for us to live and especially to raise our children. Could you please let us know which areas we should avoid (crime, drugs ect.)

Hi Marcin, where are you moving from? Are you looking to relocate with your horse? If so, there are several options to choose from that have equestrian zoning. Black Forest, Falcon, Ellicott, Elbert, Peyton, and others might work for you, or further up the mountain there are lots of options with small towns as well. I’ll send you a private email to follow up with more info.

Ron, Thanks for the great article. It is exactly what I was looking for. I’m moving to Colorado in the next couple of months and I really like the Manitou Springs, Old Colorado City area. I’ve always lived in big cities and am looking for a smaller community type feel in a walkable neighborhood with easy access to the mountains. This seems like a great place. My only concern is that I am fairly liberal, down to earth, bohemian type. I am a single woman, 37, not religious at all and hope to find a graphic design job. I feel like I could jive with that section of town and the scenery is worth it for sure. I just don’t want to feel stuck in the midst of families or a conservative environment that might make me feel uncomfortable. I’ve been looking for jobs and so many seem religious based. I live in Dallas now and it’s a bit too conservative, religious and high maintenance /superficial for me. I’m considering Denver, but I want to be closer to the mountains. What is your opinion? Thank you!

Hi Sara, I’m a very conservative guy myself, but I’ve always gotten along just fine with liberal folks, and that’s fairly typical of Colorado Springs. We’re pretty open and willing to work together (despite what perhaps some people in the media say).

I think you would be a great fit for Manitou Springs: I lived there for a few years and it’s very “Bohemian.” Lots of fun, small, quirky, with a rich history and a great landscape that’s fun to explore. You can literally walk out the back door and hike a mountain on your lunch break.

I’m not surprised the finding a job is a little hard: as you’ve probably found, our biggest employers are government contractors or religious nonprofits. If you want a job for a fun, quirky place, you could try my friends at They a software startup that’s always hiring and they’re a VERY fun place to work. There are a few other places I could recommend if you want to email me your resume.

Getting a job in Denver would be much easier, but they don’t have the mountains like we do, and the cost of living is out of this world these days. It’s much more affordable in Colorado Springs. Plus, we have Pikes Peak and Garden the Gods, and they don’t. 🙂

Great info! My husband and I are a racially mixed couple (Chinese/Caucasian). How would we be received?

I think you’d be just fine. As I try to explain, it’s not that our community is against ethnic minorities—it’s just that there are so few of them here. 🙂

We are thinking of moving to colorado springs. We have been here two weeks and so far it seems very nice but I chuckled at your blog because I have witnessed the same things! I was wondering if there is anything weird or off that we are missing because so far it seems so nice. We are coming from Chico, California and are tired of drugs, extreme temps and now the drought. 🙁 We are thinking of wolf ranch because we have a baby and a 4 year old. we were wondering if there are any neighborhoods that are nice but also have some trees and large yards that we havent discovered yet? We have been to Monument.

Thank you for writing this is probably the most helpful thing I have read so far! I am from the east coast and so for me moving to CO is an adjustment on many levels. I am scared to drive in snow and I have never been more than an hour away from the beach, haha. But I do feel a bit better after reading this!

I’m glad it helped! Driving in snow is really not a problem at all—you just have to go slow, and that’s about it. I’ve been driving in snow every year for almost 15 years and I have never had a single accident, because I drive slowly. 🙂

Hi Cinder, I’m not sure what your question is exactly about you “missing” anything. As far as trees and large yards, I don’t know how to define “large,” but there are lots of areas all over the place that have trees and yards. Monument isn’t really one of them; most of the areas with deciduous trees are closer to downtown Colorado Springs, since that’s the oldest part of town. The Old North End, downtown, Patty Jewett, etc, these are places that were built 100+ years ago, so they have large old-growth trees. Of course, they’re also some of the more expensive areas as well, so keep that in mind. I’m sure you’ll like it here better than Chico!

Village 7/Villa Loma has LOTS of trees, and pathways throughout. For forest type trees-Black Forest.

We are seriously thinking about relocating to Colorado Springs from South Carolina. I cannot take the heat here anymore. How my husband talked me into moving here in the first place is beyond me lol. We are going to take a family vacation there in 2016 to check it out. We’ve been looking at lots of houses for sale in the area. We need to find one that is in a good school district (Elementary). Everything I’ve seen and read about Colorado Springs sounds amazing.

That’s a great article. We are considering moving to colorado springs from canyon lake ca. We live in a beautiful gated city with security on each gate by the lake you can ride a boat or just jump in on a hot day. But, the heat is horrible in summer time. I love ca for its opportunities and dry weather, food and sites. My favorite is santa barbara we go for weekends. Things I hate is high property taxes, awful traffic, too many people in one spot. They fix all freeways now, so it takes me almost 3 hours to get back home after work. Anyways, I was wondering if winters are very cold in springs? I’ve heard they have a baseball academy. My son plays baseball, so it would be awesome. Is it hard to find a job there? My in laws live in Buena Vista, so we would have an additional help. I find it very strange that real estate agents can’t tell you what good neighborhoods are here, according the law:)

Hi Jay, the job market all depends on the industry you’re in. If you’re in 1) defense contracting, 2) healthcare, or 3) higher education, it may be easy to find a job here. Other industries… not so much. The winters here are cold (for me) but not cold if you ask someone from Boston or Detroit or places like that.

I’m not sure what you mean “according to the law,” as real estate agents can give you a very good overview of neighborhoods you may like based on your criteria.

I’m a veteran who is married with two kids. I currently live in NY and i would love to move to Colorado Springs. How are the schools out there?

Hi Ron, Thanks for the amusing and informative note on The Springs. I lived there way back in the late 60s (yes, USAF), am retired now and live in Southern Arizona. My wife and I are seriously tired of the desert and ready for a change. Our needs are different now as we are 70 and 66. I’ve spent a lot of time on Zillow and comfortable with the market. I looked at your friend’s real estate site but am still wondering about the best part of town on which to focus. Maybe just a quick pointer or two where retires could find a quiet developed neighborhood close to shopping but only 20-25 years old? Thanks. Max

I don’t know if it’s some kind of omen that I happened upon your list, but I’m literally homeless as of today (August 31 2015), and MINUTES from deciding between The Springs, Seattle or Portland. Lived with and cared for my father who recently passed. I’m Armenian, a veteran, single, independent (politically and socially),and a modest blue collar worker -apartment mmaintenance, actually. Think I’ll be well rreceived? Don’t need people to smile and hold the door open constantly, but I’d like to get along, find a place, and a job. I’ve been through The Springs back in 1985ish with my father (I was 12), and we both thought it was beautiful. Colorado never really left my mind. Thanks for your blog, article?-whatever they call it. ….And I agree with the other commenter….very well written, AND DAMN FUNNY!

I’m glad you found it funny. The Springs might work for you: we certainly have plenty of multifamily housing where you could find a job in maintenance, plus, as I said, we’re very veteran friendly. If you’re looking for a way to decide between Seattle, Portland and the Springs, here’s my totally unfair and ridiculously over-simplified way of comparing them:

1) Seattle: wet, cloudy, humid, by the ocean, great seafood.
2) Portland: same as above.
3) Colorado Springs: sunny most of the time, no humidity, nowhere near the ocean, at the foot of an enormous mountain.

Make your choice based on your personal preference.

Thanks for posting Ron. We live in Raleigh and may be moving to the Springs in Oct of this year. Nice insight. Little concerned about those winter car accidents though. Do people swim in the lakes? Rivers?

Hi James, if you drive slowly, you’ll be okay. 🙂 I’ve lived here over 16 years now and have never been in an accident because I drive slowly, especially during the winter. We don’t have any lakes or rivers in Colorado Springs (except for one called Prospect Lake in Memorial Park) so, no, we don’t really do much swimming. There are some places that do have rivers you can swim in, but they’re about an hour drive from here, and I’ve never been to them.

Hi there (I thought I had answered this a few days ago but it must not have posted). I will meet with my realtor friend and see if we can create a map with a breakdown on all the areas in town. It’s a great idea. Check back in a week or so if I haven’t responded by then!

Excellent post, and kudos to you, Ron, for checking back and answering questions! Now it’s my turn. I’m a single gal, 55, working on getting a position at USAA, but have lots of experience in Admin and Support Staff. If I get the position, great – if not, I still want to move there in May 16, but with a big chunk of $$ to support myself until work comes along. Throughout the comments, you note that the local economy is improving – how does it look nowadays?

Hi Cynthia, I’m happy to help. USAA is a major employer here, but we also have many other large financial institutions that hire lots of people. Here’s a quick list of a few where I have friends that work there: BBVA Compass, Vectra Bank, Security Service FCU, Ent FCU, Air Academy FCU, US Bank, Kirkpatrick Bank, Bank of Colorado, Colorado Business Bank, ANB Bank, and Integrity Bank & Trust. Whew. That’s more than I would have thought!

So I’d say if you have a background in commercial lending, savings and investments, there are opportunities here. I don’t know that much about banks and financial institutions in general, but our overall economy is getting better. The litmus test for me is always housing starts—our local economy is extremely dependent on new houses, so that’s the bellwether I look to. Here’s a chart that shows all new housing permits pulled from 2010-2015: (Do note that 2015 isn’t over yet, so it’s not a complete picture). As you can see, we’re not nearly back to the pre-recession levels of 2004, but we’re certainly up from 2010.

I hope that helps!

Hi. I have a few questions. My family currently lives in wildwood nj and we are thinking of relocating to Colorado springs we are a pretty big family. 6 children so we are wondering what would be the best areas to live. My children are very athletic and academically inclined so we want a school district that offers both. If you have any ideas of where would be best we would greatly appreciate it. Ty Jessica

Hi Ron,

First and foremost, thanks for writing this blog and for time to answer all of the comments! I’m sure everyone really appreciates it :).

My husband and I are from Canada. He is a member of the Canadian Armed Forces and he will likely be posted to COS next summer (July/Aug 2016), so we are starting to virtually explore COS to get to know it a little more before the house hunting trip (late spring 2016) and the move. Because he’s being posted there with the Canadian military, we are not allowed to buy, only rent.

1. Neighborhoods. At a first glance, I feel like we relate more to the west side (Old Colorado City, Manitou Springs, etc.) We are a youngish couple (30s) and we have no children yet. We would like to be in proximity to a community but, at the same time, we do appreciate having a front yard/back yard with trees (and little bit of privacy/space between the next house). We are absolutely not interested in the cookie cutter type neighborhoods (what I like to refer to as “suburbia-land”) and of course we would like to stay away from some of the shadier areas. Would you have any recommendations on which neighborhoods we could check out?

2. Teaching. I was also previously in the Canadian Armed Forces, but I released last year to become a high school teacher. Do you have any information/contacts with respect to getting hired as a high school math teacher (keeping in mind that I’m Canadian?) Also, any school districts that you would recommend (or say to avoid?)

My hubby and I both love the outdoors and we’re looking forward to hiking, biking, snowboarding, etc. 🙂


Hi Gillian, thanks for commenting. Hope you’re staying warm in the “Great White North!” I think you’re on the right track with Old Colorado City and Manitou Springs. You might also check out the Black Forest—lots of big lots with trees up there (looks like parts of Canada, actually!) and you can’t see your neighbors.

For schools, I hate to say it, but the pay for elementary and high school teachers here is astoundingly low. For reference, the starting salary for teachers here is $36k annual range… and the highest possible is $48k (and thats ‘s you have a Phd!). So hopefully that’s helpful and not too discouraging—I don’t know what you’re used to, but compared to California where I’m from, it’s much lower.

The best districts in town are D20 ( and D38 (, so that’s where I’d start. Unless you could teach at a university, in which case, I’d imagine we have lots more options that probably pay better.

I’m a native and you’ve nailed it. Another thing locals never do is go to the mountains.

Ok I realize this post is 5 years old. This seems like a great place for me, just because im a people person and I talk to pretty much everybody whether I know you or not. But my husband and I including our 8 year old daughter are thinking of moving to Colorado Springs. What about racism? We are hispanic. I am very fluent in both English and Spanish, his English is limited. I sure would dislike living in a place that no one would accept us as a whole! Also What about jobs, my husband works in a feedyard and I draw blood for a living, medical assistant/ phlebotomist. Are there any jobs for us out there?

Hi Ana, I have never personally encountered blatant racism in Colorado Springs. Hispanics are our highest minority group, actually, so there are many people just like you, and I don’t think your husband’s limited English will be a big problem. I used to work in a hotel here in Colorado Springs with dozens of South American people (Peru, El Salvador, Argentina, Puerto Rico, Bolivia, Mexico, etc), and I enjoyed working with them and learned a lot of Spanish that way. As far as jobs go, we have a huge healthcare industry here, so I’m pretty sure you could get a job as an MA or Phlebotomist. As far as a feed yard, I’m not sure what that means, exactly, but there’s not a lot of agriculture here. You might try looking in Pueblo (it’s about a half hour south of here): there’s a lot more livestock down there, and a huge number of Spanish speakers as well.

I am planning on moving to the Colorado Springs area, and was wondering what are the safer neighborhoods? Is Black Forest part of the springs? Also, is there public transportation that is reliable? And last but not least, what is the center of town like? Thank you

Hi Melissa, I’m not sure how to tell you what the “safe” neighborhoods are, but this website is a great help: You can look up historical crime rates by area. Anecdotally, I’d say the more you can stay either North and/or West of town, the safer you’ll be. Yes, Black Forest is part of Colorado Springs, but it also goes into Monument (it’s huge: over 127 square miles, which means it’s bigger than Orlando, FL). Colorado Springs does *not* have reliable public transportation, and it would be very, very hard to rely on public transportation to get to work, school, etc. I’m not sure what you mean by the “center” of town, but if you’re asking about our downtown (which isn’t in the geographic center), I think it’s pretty cool, though it’s quite small.

Thank you for your reply. I did not realize how big CS actually was. Looking forward to visiting this spring, and hopefully moving by the summer.

I stumbled upon your post today. I don’t know how old it is, but it’s spot on. We moved here from Brooklyn about 5 years ago. It was a huge cultural shock, but I’m getting more used to the place.

Hi Ron, just ran into your blog! It’s very informative! We are currently thinking about re-locating from MN to the Springs. We have a 10 year old daughter, so schools/family friendly is a concern. I’m currently a Realtor in MN, and would like to continue that in CO. Are you still in the Springs? Still loving it?

Hi Bonnie, several of my family members have moved to Florida (they couldn’t take the cold anymore) but I’m still here. If you have a child in school, you’ll probably want to check out D20 or D38—those are the ones everybody clamors for when relocating here. If you can, I’d recommend you stay on the North or Northwest (Briargate, Mountain Shadows, Woodmen, etc).

My husband and I are Midwesterners born and raised (I’m from Iowa he’s from Indiana), and have also lived in Bozeman, MT for two years while he went to grad school. We are home bodies so want to live somewhere closer than Bozeman, but are also extremely outdoorsy and active (running marathons often). We are Christians and absolutely love mountains…will be having our first baby in May…would you recommend the Springs to us in light of that information? Also, living in Indiana now, I just constantly dream of the sunshine.. I would just love to hear from someone who has been living there as long as you if this seems like a good place for us in the next couple of years! Thanks 🙂

Hi Ron.
I LOVED this post in its entirety. My husband and I are moving to Colorado Springs next month, as I have a friend who lives there and has told me lots about it. I have to ask though, is there anyone you wouldn’t recommend to move there?
My husband and I are both in our early 20s. We just recently had a baby boy who will be 4 months old by the time we get there. We chose this state (and specifically this town) because I’ve heard it’s a great place to raise children. I’m from Chicago, and my husband from Ireland, but we have both lived in Florida for years. I’m wondering if the air would be too big of a change for my little one? And maybe any advice you would have would be much appreciated! Thank you.

Hi Trisha, I’m glad to hear you liked it. I think there are two types of people who would be disappointed by moving here. First, young people looking for high-paying tech jobs: we simply do not have high-paying jobs in tech, and people from Silicon Valley and Los Angeles (for example) are shocked at how low the wages are here for tech jobs (unless you’re in aerospace/defense contracting). There’s more opportunity for folks like that in Denver, but I don’t know much about that since our market is far removed from Denver’s. Second, the other folks who would be frustrated living here are people who want to be near water. I count myself among those: I don’t like winter sports at all (i.e. skiing, snowboarding, etc) so it’s expensive for me to get out and do the hobbies I like most (swimming, scuba diving, snorkeling, etc), since I have to buy a plane ticket to the beach in another state. That aside, most people really like it here. I’m still here 17 years later, even though the lack of the ocean kind of drives me nuts.

In your case, I think you’d like Colorado Springs our winters are much, much milder than Chicago’s, and our dry air is much less humid than Florida’s (and we have nearly no bugs!). Hope it all works out for you. (On a side note: one of my very best friends is a fellow from Northern Ireland who married an American gal. They lived here in Colorado Springs for years, and loved it!)

Thank you! We are definitely looking foward to the change. Winter snow has a big part in my heart, so lack of beaches is actually ok with me. I appreciate the feedback!

Hi, my husband and I visited CS two years ago, and we fell in love with it. We were only there for 3 days, but we really enjoyed our time. We always said we would come back, and now the time has come where we are able to pack up and move out! We live in Kansas City, Missouri. I want to pick up and start a new life in the mountains. I just want to know any advice there might be before making the big move. My husband does have asthma, and Ive read a lot about the thin air and dryness. Is it unwise to pursue CO?

Hi Hillary, thanks for the comment! I don’t know what to advise: I don’t have asthma, so I can’t say for sure. The only thing I can suggest is to come take an extended vacation here (perhaps a week or so) and see how that affects his health. He could try running up and down stairs, and swimming, and things like that—whatever might normally agitate his asthma, and see how it reacts. I do have relatives who are asthmatic, but I don’t know that our dry, thin air makes it “worse” that it would otherwise. At least I haven’t heard that to be the case.

Old post, but great information! I’ve lived in Portland, Oregon, for 21 years now, and we’re thinking of relocating. I’m tired of what my city has become. Can you recommend a resource on job searches in Colorado Springs? Thanks!

A local resource? Hmm… there are some staffing agencies here in town, but that’s heavily dependent on the industry you work in. What kind of job are you looking for? Without knowing that, I’d just suggest, Indeed, Craigslist, etc.

Ron, I agree with others, this is a great post! You are a wonderful writer. I love that your information gives more than we would ever see from the local Chamber of Commerce. I am looking at relocating to The Springs and noticed there seem to be a huge number of homes for sale. Is this normal or is the military down-sizing? Thank you!

Hi Cindy, that’s a very interesting observation… I’m not sure what to say, since the data shows otherwise. Colorado Springs has the lowest level of home inventory since 1995. So I’m not sure what you’ve seen, but it’s actually pretty hard to buy a home here right now. I have a realtor friend who told me that one of his clients listed a home and within three days, received 30 offers, and closed for $10k more than their asking price. So I’d say if you’re finding lots of homes for sale, that’s good for you, but you’re apparently the only one! 🙂

Hey Ron, Glad to hear the housing market is doing well. I found the listings on Zillow. There are over 1,800 listings up to $275,000 in Colorado Springs.

Aha… I’ll just politely say here what many Realtors have said with much stronger terms elsewhere: Zillow is very, very, very unreliable. As a quick anecdote: I was recently in the market to sell my house and buy a new one. I spent hours searching Zillow and narrowed down my search to 21 homes, and I sent the list to my realtor. He laughed when he called me back and told me that every single one of them was under contract. All that to say, don’t use Zillow as a reliable source of information. It’s good for basic ballpark figures, but it’s not an accurate reflection of current data.

Good to know. BTW, I have told a number of people about your blog and the potato chip tidbit. As I said before, it is great. Thanks a bunch!

Hi there, I have to say a big THANK YOU for this post. Although it’s 3 years old, it helps tremendously. We live in Orange County, CA and have family just outside Woodland Park. We have talked at length about moving to CS in the near future. I am on board, my hubby is a beach kinda guy (like you). I want more for my kiddos than smog ridden air and car trips to places to ride their bikes. We have 3 boys attending a private Christian school here in CM.

I looked around the Cheyenne Mt. area and Broodmoor and liked it. Is that what you refer to as the West Side???

Again, a big thank you for taking the time and sharing the quarks and truths of the city.

Hi Samantha! One of my good friends moved here from Orange County about 10 years ago, and he loves it here. When I say West Side, I generally mean north of Cimarron, so the Mountain Shadows area. The Cheyenne Mtn and Broadmoor areas we generally refer to at the South Western part of town, and while it’s nice, it’s super expensive. Come try out our fresh, clean mountain air! You’ll like it. 🙂

I realize this post is a bit old, but this is SO HELPFUL!! I’m looking into moving from Cincinnati, Ohio to Colorado Springs for my job. Before Cincinnati, I grew up in the northern suburbs of Chicago & ironically Cincinnati, wasn’t that tough of a transition, but CS is a whole new ball park. I’ve only ever visited Boulder & Denver a hand full of times, so I was curious to learn more about CS. My favorite info your posted was about horrendous drivers in CS, because all I complain about in Cincy is how no one ever uses their turn signals and everyone drives 5 UNDER the speed limit (yes, I am definitely a Chicago driver) haha.

Thank you so much for your post!! Great read!!

I lived in Longmont just last year, and had some similar experiences (the needing of lotion all the time for skin and nose bleeds, etc.). I’m writing a story that takes place partly in Springs, so thanks for the info!

My wife and I are planning to relocate from Orange County, CA to Colorado Springs with our family sometime in the next 6-8 months. The company I work for (defense contractor) has an office there so I have a job waiting.
One thing I have struggled with is figuring out the differences between the various areas/neighborhoods. We want something “woodsy”, with a big yard and at least 4-5 bedrooms. Doesn’t have to be right in the Springs, it could be 10-15 min away. Do you have any suggestions on a good area, or do you know of a website that might be of use?
We are coming there in 2 weeks (June 23, 2016) for a long weekend to look around and get a feel for the place. The other thing is could you recommend a good real estate agent to work with before we come over? Thanks for the great blog, very good information in it!

hi, just came across your blog. I am thinking of moving from Kansas City to CS fairly soon. I got a job offer at ft. carson. I’m a single parent with a girl who will start school this fall. if I take this job I will be moving within weeks and will want to get settled somewhere soon. I have NO idea regarding where to live, commute times, etc. I am moving because I want to be somewhere that has the outdoor activities I like and also to get my daughter into a good school district. I wont have family around so I’m stressed about doing this alone but ready to make a new leap. I would be either renting or buying, my home budget would be between 200-250k. I want to live somewhere safe, within a really good public school district, and with a fairly short commute to work (under 30 minutes). i also would like to know about diversity since I’m part Hispanic and my daughter is mixed race. i know that this is a primarily white area so I’m sort of concerned about racism. any input into where to narrow down for housing and schools would help. i guess south CS is best for location to work but i have no idea if this is a good area, good schools, etc. thanks.

Hi Tim, I’m sorry to take so long in getting back to you… I took a very long trip across the country with my wife and kids. We saw 15 states in 15 days! Getting back to your question: yes, Jennifer Crosby is a Realtor with a company called Springs Home Finders. Check her out at She’s been helping people relocate to Colorado Springs and does an excellent job. I hope that helps!

Leesa, I think you’ll like it in Colorado Springs. I don’t know much about the Ft. Carson area, but I have a friend who is a realtor who can help you if you’re looking for a house. is the gal I recommend. She’s helped many, many people relocate to the Springs from all over the world (including Japan, England, etc). She also knows more about the local schools than I do. I hope she can help where I can’t.

Hey Rob, fantastic blog!! I found this to be very insightful and even funny at times. My fiancé and I have decided to move to the Springs because we just want to experience living somewhere completely foreign to us and take on a new journey! We looked around for houses to rent and ended up signing a lease on a house in Fountain. We wanted to be in the city, but this house gave us the most bang for our buck and we needed something with decent size since we will be rooming up with my brother and his girlfriend. Not to mention the 2 dogs and 1 cat we have between us. Couple quick questions: We are moving from San Antonio, Tx and although a lot of people I come across are under the impression that SA is a small town/city, it is actually quite large. I believe we are the 7th largest city in the nation. So naturally, we are used to a very high paced, and crowded lifestyle. Although, I am looking forward to a less condensed atmosphere, your explanation of ‘everything shutting down at 10pm’ spooked me a bit! Now, I’m not much a partier on the weekday, but we do enjoy the bar/club scene on the weekend. Does what you said about business closing down early, extend to the weekend as well? Just want to get a decent understanding of the weekend night-life. Another concern I had was our location (Fountain) and it being so seemingly far from everything (the springs). My brother took the drive and told me it wasn’t so bad, however he is a true optimist and not many things seem to bother him. Our fear is that we are going to be far from EVERYTHING and dread the 10-15 min drive just to get to a corner store/grocery store. While these 2 concerns we have aren’t necessarily deal-breakers for us, considering we already signed the lease, we’re just looking for some unbiased insight from an experienced Coloradian and you certainly seem to fit the mold! Look forward to reading your reply! Thanks Ron!!

Hi Ben, good questions and thoughts. Fountain is a really small area (fewer than 30k people), which some people love, and some people find… small. You may find it to be the perfect place for you: it all depends on your personality. There are very few places open late (as far as I know) in Fountain, so you’d probably end up driving for a while to get to downtown Colorado Springs. There are some places that are open late—some of the newer places like The Rabbit Hole, Shugas, etc, but what I was describing is that most places open late are full-blown “bars” with music, dancing, lights, and bouncers that check your ID at the door. My point was that I don’t like those kinds of places: I want to be able to go to a restaurant and sit down and have a glass of wine and stay and chat with my wife for a few hours, and almost all of those kinds of places close at 10pm or 11pm. Case in point: Old Chicago on Tejon St was a happy medium that fit the bill for us, but that just closed down. So it can be frustrating at times. But again, if you’re looking for a different experience it may work fine for you. I hope that helps.

Used to live in Denver, now living in Salt Lake, hoping to move back but to the Springs instead, not Denver. Never liked Denver…too many people, traffic, expensive homes, liberal, blah, blah, blah. The Springs is more like home but i wish it had better direct flight options out of the airport!

You’re right: the Colorado Springs Airport is an under-utilized asset that is a challenge… having a direct flight from the Springs is fantastic, but we certainly pay for the privilege and there aren’t many opportunities.

My husband is finishing dental school and we are trying to figure our where we want to live and set-up a practice. We have both visited CO Springs and enjoyed it. Any idea what the dental scene is like there… how saturated with dentists is there area or is there a need? Thanks.

That is a fascinating question, Kristi. I have no idea how many dentists there are here. You should know this: most of the military folks using VA/Tri-Care already get their dental needs taken care of that way, usually using on-base facilities. My dentist is a gal who was in the Air Force and got her dental degree that way.

This is a great article! Thanks for your local insight! Even though 6 years old now, it sounds like it’s still accurate. I’m moving to Co springs next month. Very interested to read that most restaurants and hot spots close early. I’m a 20 something woman hoping to meet other 20 somethings! Any recommendations? I had also been looking at living near Peterson AFB, but it looks like that’s on the southeast side of town. Is it too dangerous or quiet? I’ll also look into the side of town you mentioned! Thanks a ton!!

Hi Catherine, if you’re young and want to meet other young folks, I’d recommend joining a group like the CS Rising Professionals ( and/or CS Young Professionals ( They have social mixers frequently and it’s a good way to get to know a lot of fellow young people quickly. There have been several new options as far as downtown dining that are starting to stay open later.,, etc. But again, it’s all about what you’re looking for. My wife and I went to Old Chicago because that was open late but didn’t really feel like a “bar,” and unfortunately that just closed. So you may find something, but you might need to look around.

Ron, I just came across your post and it gave more information in one article than I have seen in 10 others. We are originally from Colorado (Boulder-Longmont area) but due to jobs, moved away decades ago. We are looking to move back sometime in the near future. After getting off the merry-go-round years ago, we can’t afford Boulder prices anymore, but the Springs looks like it is still affordable. On paper, Briarwood or Rockrimmon look like nice areas to move to. Any suggestions? We are empty nesters and want something on the North side. Thanks again!

Vallhund, thanks for dropping a line! That’s quite a coincidence, actually: we just moved away from the Springs to so my wife can go to school in Boulder, and we’re now living in Longmont. I still go back to the Springs about once per month and I’m shocked at how cheap things are there compared to where we are now. The house I’m in now would probably cost $350k if we were to buy it, and in Colorado Springs, I’ll bet it would cost around $225k…. and that’s just Longmont. Boulder is much, much more costly than that (as you know). As far as finding a place in Colorado Springs: I’m not sure about the North Side.. if I had money and could buy there, I’d stay away from the North Side and be closer to downtown or near the Broadmoor. But between the two you mentioned, I prefer Rockrimmon to Briargate. There are no natural features in Briargate: it’s just a sea of tens of thousands of houses. Rockrimmon and Mountain Shadows are different: right near the mountains, there are gorgeous views, natural parks, great hiking trails, etc. I know, because I used to live right next to Flying W Ranch and it was a fantastic experience. So my recommendation would be the Westside, and the further west of I-25 you can get, the better. But that’s just me. I hope that helps!

It does help, thank you! I grew up in Longmont and my wife grew up in Boulder. We met at CU and lived there until the mid 80s when we started moving around the country (CO > CA > VA > FL > TX > ?). We still have lots of family in the Boulder/Denver area, and unlike many people, we actually miss the snow. We ski, mountain bike, kayak and love to hike and backpack…what are we still doing in Texas?!

Family and I are considering moving to Colorado Springs from South Riverside County. The biggest, well only, hangup is being SOOOO far from the beach. You mentioned that you are a beach fan as well…what do you do to get your beach fix living in CS?

Great question! Colorado Springs just got Frontier Airlines back at the CS airport, which means cheap direct flights to Orlando. …so I’ve recently been flying out and staying with my parents there and renting a car and hitting up the SCUBA scene in Florida.

Hi Ron, this was a lovely read! I am Jamaican , my husband is from Arvada Colorado, we are considering relocating to Colorado Springs. Being from Jamaica I am use to a melting pot of persons plus acceptance from the varied races. How rare are interracial couples there and are they treated any less, more specifically, the black counterpart?

Hi Dacia! Thanks for commenting. That’s a good question. Here’s my answer from my limited perspective. I’m a white man married to a white woman, so I certainly can’t speak with any authority on the experience of black folks or mixed race couples. Having said that, I can state for a fact that I have never personally witnessed overt racial discrimination or racist behavior in Colorado Springs. I’m not saying it doesn’t necessarily happen, but I’ve never it. One of my relatives is married to a Japanese woman, and I’ve never seen anyone treat her disrespectfully either. There are very few racial minorities in Colorado Springs, but the people I’ve known from minority groups seem to have been treated fairly and respectfully, at least when I’ve encountered them. (For example, I’ve never seen a confederate flag or anything like that which you might find in the deep south). I hope that’s slightly helpful.

Great post Ron! I know its a few years old but its useful information as I think about moving to the Springs. I am in the D.C. area and I can’t take the traffic and high-stress levels anymore. My wife and I are starting to want a house, and the prices here are insane, 600k+ for a townhouse, 250k barely gets you a shoebox condo. There job market looks good, especially considering the higher prices of Denver, and given that Boulder is mostly a college town. The proximity to outdoor activities is the biggest selling point to me (I am a big hiker and trail runner). Microbreweries are our sweet spot, and we don’t care much about night life anymore. Would you say its a good place to start/raise a family?

The things that worry me are the bland, unoriginal strip malls in the springs, and the super conservative base there (I am not religious). The military town stuff: I could take it or leave it. Also just general fears about not being able to meet people and being viewed as an outsider. We are moderate but liberal leaning and the “Focus on the Family” and mega-churches kind of scare us. I’m also vegetarian (just not “hippie”) and I’ve found conservatives to be not just meat-lovers but to kind of hate on anyone who is veg, environmentally friendly, etc.

Wonder if my wife and I could make couple-friends through non-church avenues?

Hi Erik, all good thoughts. Yes, I think it’s a great place to raise a family. (I did it myself!). Colorado Springs is a haven of strip malls, and that’s all part of the urban sprawl the city has gone through over the past 20-30 years. The microbrews, hiking trails, etc, I think you would love. The north side of town is where Focus on the Family is, and most of the people who work there. If that’s not your bag, I think you’d like downtown or the westside. Lots of “free spirits” out that way, and definitely options for vegetarians, etc. I’m a very conservative guy, and I’ve never bashed anybody for being on the opposite spectrum politically, or vegan, and none of my friends in Colorado Springs do either. It’s a friendly place… I’m sure you can find a place where you’ll fit in and find respectable folks. Be sure to ask my friend Jennifer the Realtor for help if you want to buy—she’s helped a lot of people relocate here from out of state and can help them find just the right spot. Good luck to you!

I visited a friend in Colorado Springs in 2013. I absolutely loved it (coming from the Midwest-specifically Milwaukee). I loved that the people were polite and friendly in all the businesses I went to. The street roads were smooth (my tires could last 6yrs instead of 3). I enjoyed the military presence, the mountain scenery while outdoors, the hiking, and the health image Colorado has. I felt welcomed and not tolerated, everywhere I went. I also researched jobs in higher education, and observed that they pay well. I also teach fitness classes, so I think the Springs will suit me quite well. I plan to move to Colorado Springs or Aurora (very soon). I’m hoping to secure a job offer before moving there. Can’t wait. Any advice, greatly appreciated. I have a BA in Communications and an MS in Student Personnel Administration. Thanks for sharing this post.

Hey i really enjoyed reading this. I am relocating to Ft. Collins for work and was blessed to find a great home here too, but there is so much I didn’t know about Colorado. its going to be an adjustment. I don’t have a question. Just wanted to say thanks for posting, it was a great read.

Hey Ron! I posted on your board two years ago, and it’s been almost a year since I’ve moved to CS. You are SO right on SO many things! The people are really nice, drivers are terrible, and hey, I even go to New Life! The only downside – and this could be an addition to the original blog post – housing costs are out of control! In Texas I had a 1200 sf townhome for $690 a month. Here, I’m renting a basement with a bedroom, living area, and bathroom for $600, and VERY glad to have it (the family upstairs is incredible) – no way can I afford my own place, even a small studio is over $700 a month.

The Springs is a great place for people who work during the week, and spend the weekend outdoors – trails everywhere, and an hour drive west on 24 puts you in superb camping and hiking areas. The ski slopes are a little far, but there are some great bargains to be had such as at Cooper (not Copper!). Oh and yeah, some of the best orthopedic surgeons are here in the Springs too, as I have also had the opportunity to find out! All in all, I love it here!

Hi Cynthia, that’s great! I’m glad you found it helpful before, and that’s awesome that you moved to CS. I gotta tell you though, living expenses are certainly higher in CS than they are in Texas, but they’re still very low compared to a lot of other places. A one bedroom apartment where I live now (near Boulder) is at least $1,000/mo. 🙂 I’m glad you like it in CS—we did too!

Hi Ron! Thank you for this post. We currently live in DC and are considering relocating to the Springs in 2-3 years, but doing our research. My husband could get a job on one of the bases through his current employer, and I work in higher ed. We have two boys, 1 and 3. When I first started reading about the Springs, I was like why doesn’t everyone move to Colorado? I’m thinking low humidity, no bugs, outdoor adventures (we love hiking and camping),beautiful views, nice summer weather, good beer, lower cost of living (in DC now which is pricey!) but here are my concerns, and wanted to get your thoughts:
1) We are not religious and very liberal; can we still fit in with the friendly Springers?
2) The lack of diversity. We are white but I love how diverse D.C. Is.
3) the winters. I’m not a huge fan of cold weather and I’m nervous about driving in the snow. When it snows in DC, often times things close and you don’t have to go to school/work.
Thank you!

Hi Sarah, great questions: they’re of a potentially sensitive nature, so I’ll try my best to just answer them without any editorializing. Here we go: 1) there are many, many, many people in Colorado Springs that adhere to no religious faith. Hopefully you saw in my post that the report created by the Pikes Peak United Way showed that Colorado Springs has the second concentration in the nation (after Portland Oregon) of folks that claim no congregational membership of any kind. So I would say, that, yes, you’d find plenty of folks that would be friendly, and you’d be in the majority. 2) Right now, Colorado Springs is over 70% white, and nearly 20% hispanic, and all other classifications register in single digits. But again, does that mean Colorado Springs is unfriendly to minorities? I can’t say personally, but from my observation, it is not. 3) You will love winters here. It snows on Monday, and melts on Wednesday. Every day is different. I hope that helps!

My husband and I are in the beginning stages of contemplating a move from San Diego. We’ve never dreamed of moving, but lately feel strongly drawn to Colorado Springs. THIS blog post was so well-written, I feel like I know you! You did a great job expressing yourself and communicating your insights to your city. Do you have any thoughts on the schools in the area?

Hi Jeri, it depends on what you mean by schools. Elementary/middle/high/college? Generally speaking, the public schools in Colorado Springs are fine (I don’t know personally though—I never put my kids in them). Most people who move here from Chicago or Detroit are thrilled with them. I can’t really comment on San Diego. A good realtor should know better than me: they get that question all the time and get feedback from their clients.

I would generally say that having a job lined up before moving is a good idea. But the job market in the Springs is strong, if you are in the few industries that Colorado Springs supports.

I currently live in South Carolina and I’m sick and tired of the hurricanes. And yes my property was significantly damaged period as I look for best places to live in the United States in the year 2019 Austin Texas comes out first followed by Denver Colorado in Colorado springs. Colorado springs has caught my interest it seems to be a safe place to live and plenty of job opportunity It’s clean It’s way above sea level and it’s retirement friendly meaning they don’t tax social security and pensions however reading this article there’s a couple things that would be a deal breaker for me and that would be the horrendous drivers and the forest fires. I don’t care so much about recycling and people asking me if I’m in the military or not The fact that they have Bible study at coffee shops is cool I guess I don’t drink coffee. I know the altitude will take a little getting used to with headaches and such I understand your skin gets very dry and you need to moisturize daily but it’s those forest fires I’m not looking for any more natural disasters and the horrendous driving that I can’t stand period so my search continues I’ll look a little further into Texas period thanks for writing the article and I finally get it here at the end of 2019 but better late than never.

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